Chris Colbert is confident that he made the type of impactful statement he wanted to issue Saturday night.
Brooklyn’s Colbert battered Jaime Arboleda on his way to an 11th-round stoppage in Showtime’s main event. Arboleda was widely considered the puncher entering their 12-round, 130-pound championship bout, but Colbert dropped the powerful Panamanian challenger once late in the ninth round and three times in the 11th before referee Steve Willis halted the action at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I wanted to make a statement, to let the super featherweight division know that I’m here, and I’m here to stay,” Colbert said during a post-fight press conference. “And I wanted to show them that I can do more than punch and run and move, and what they say I can’t do. And I did that.”
The 24-year-old Colbert (15-0, 6 KOs) successfully defended his WBA interim super featherweight title for the first time by beating Arboleda (16-2, 13 KOs). He was comfortably in front by the same score on all three cards, 98-90, entering the 11th round.
Arboleda believed before they fought that if Colbert traded with him it would result in him winning by knockout. A supremely confident Colbert, recognized more for his boxing ability, ring IQ and athleticism, knew Arboleda was wrong.
“To be honest, I always felt like I had some type of power,” Colbert said. “It was just more of me punching and moving at the same time. But then I had to show the world that I can do more than that. If I sit there, and sit on my punches, I can really hurt some guys. And I did that tonight. My last couple of fights, I’ve been hurting ‘em. And hey, listen, it’s ‘Prime Time,’ baby.”
As pleased as he is with how he performed against Arboleda, Colbert didn’t try to portray himself as another Gervonta Davis in the 130-pound division.
“I’m not gonna sit here and act like I’m a knockout puncher,” Colbert said. “No, but I do know how to finish a guy. When I hurt him, I know how to get him out of there. And that’s all it takes, is one shot to hurt somebody. And we did that tonight. … I mean, hey, in boxing people love to see knockouts, right? And I gave them what they like to see.”
Colbert hopes his impressive victory over Arboleda leads to a higher-profile fight next. He declined to call anyone out, yet Colbert believes he is ready for any opponent within his division.
“I just wanted to make a statement,” Colbert said. “I wanted to let the super featherweight division know I’m here. … I’m here. I’m not going nowhere. I’m looking to fight anybody in the top five, or whoever Al [Haymon] put in front of me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.