Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images
Gonzalez upset Elwin Soto for the WBO light flyweight title in October
Freshly unveiled subscription service ProBox TV, which kicks off with Jean Pascal vs. Meng Fanlong on May 20th, has its first title fight. WBO light flyweight champion Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez will make his inaugural defense against #9 Mark Anthony Barriga on June 24th in Kissimee, Florida.
Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez (25-3-1, 14 KO) has found his footing after getting blown up by Giovani Segura in 2013 and Jobert Alvarez in 2016, winning seven of his last eight. The sole loss in that span came against Kosei Tanaka in a fight that Gonzalez was winning on two scorecards, while his most recent effort saw him claim light flyweight gold in his third bout at the weight by beating Elwin Soto for the belt.
“I’m ready to kick off a dominant reign as world champion by making the first defense of my title,” said Gonzalez. “Elwin Soto learned that I’m not somebody you should underestimate, so I hope Mark Anthony Barriga is training as hard as possible because I’m coming with everything on June 24. This is my division. Nobody is going to beat me at 108 pounds. I look forward to an exciting night for the fans and to leaving the ring with my hand raised in victory.”
2012 Olympian Barriga (11-1, 2 KO) fell to Carlos Licona by split decision in a 2018 bid for minimumweight gold. Then came a 16-month layoff, which he’s since ended with victories over Junuel Lacar and Raman Antaran in his native Philippines.
“I have fought in the Olympics, for a world title, and was ranked No. 1 in the world, but this is the most important fight of my career,” said Barriga. “La Bomba is a world champion for a reason. He is a great opponent, and this is going to be an exciting fight. I am so thankful to my management One Above Sports Consultancy and Dejan Zavec for making this happen with a fantastic promoter All Star Boxing, Tuto, and Ruben. Thank you, Pro Box TV, for showing this around the world, especially for my country people in the Philippines.”
The undercard “will be announced shortly.”