By Ryan Burton
Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (20-1) has reeled off three impressive wins in a row since suffering his first professional loss against Andre Ward in March of 2016.
He stopped undefeated rising contender Slava Shabranskyy in December and then stopped Paul "Pay-Per-View" Parker in April.
This past Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles, he stepped in the ring against the hard hitting Joe Smith Jr. (23-2) who was also riding an impressive winning streak going into the fight. Barrera got off the deck in the first round to win a dominant ten round unanimous decision over the New Yorker.
Barrera should have plenty of options after his latest victory including hard hitting Russian Sergey Kovalev, who is his promotional stablemate. The Cuban doesn't feel he needs to call anyone out and believes that his last few performances have done the talking for him.
"I am another fight towards achieving my ultimate goal. I'm glad I had the chance to show my skills and heart on HBO again. There is no reason to call anyone out. They know very well who I am and how to find me. Either they have the balls to fight me or they don't," Barrera told BoxingScene.com.
Based on all of the industry chatter, Kovalev is a heavy favorite to face Barrera in the fall. Kovalev, a former IBF, WBA, WBO light heavyweight world champion, is coming off back to back defeats to Andre Ward. In their June rematch, Ward stopped Kovalev in the eight round. A year ago, Kovalev would have been the very heavy favorite to win, but now some believe the Russian hitter is on the slide while Barrera is on the rise. They are both promoted by Main Events, making the contest easy to make if they want it.
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