Super lightweight contender Arnold Barboza (26-0) will be an interested observer of tonight’s super featherweight showdown pitting former title challenger Robson Conceicao (16-1) against unbeaten prospect Xavier Martinez (17-0). The bout will top an ESPN televised tripleheader that takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

This fight will represent a step up in competition for Xavier Martinez who last fought in May when he defeated Juan Carlos Burgos via unanimous decision. 

Martinez and Barboza are both guided by Rick Mirigian  whose stable of fighters also includes Jose Ramirez and Vergil Ortiz, among others. 

Barboza believes the fight could go either way and wants to see if Martinez can rise to the occasion. The winner will be in prime position to fight for a world title.  

“They are both good fighters but I’m really excited to see what Martinez is going to go. It’s a very good fight.  To me it’s a 50/50 fight in my eyes,” Barboza told 

Brazil’s Conceicao is coming off of a September controversial unanimous decision loss to two-division champion Oscar Valdez. Even though Conceicao took his foot off the gas in the later rounds, many observers felt he did enough to come out with his hand raised in victory. 

As for his own plans, Barboza is still hoping to land a fight against former unified champion Teofimo Lopez who recently stated that he would be moving up to the super lightweight division. 

“I am ready for whoever. I’m always in the gym. My return date will hopefully be the same date as Teo hopefully,” said Barboza. 

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