Chris Colbert cannot wait for the opportunity Saturday night to prove Jaime Arboleda doesn’t belong in the ring with him.
Colbert believes Arboleda lost his last fight to Jayson Velez, but he intends to leave the judges with no choice but to declare him a convincing victor in their 12-round fight for Colbert’s WBA interim world super featherweight title. Arboleda beat Velez by split decision in their 12-rounder, but Velez dropped Arboleda during the 12th round and nearly knocked him out February 8 at PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“He definitely lost, and he got saved by the bell,” Colbert told BoxingScene.com. “But he ain’t gonna get saved by the bell in this one.”
Brooklyn’s Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) and Panama’s Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) will meet in the main event of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The telecast, slated to start at 9 p.m. EST, also will feature Russian middleweight contender Matt Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 10-round fight against Ronald Ellis (17-1-2, 11 KOs, 1 NC), of Lynn, Massachusetts. In other televised action, Brooklyn’s Richardson Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs) and Dominican veteran Argenis Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC) will meet in a 10-round junior welterweight bout.
The 24-year-old Colbert hopes his performance proves he is among the elite boxers within the 130-pound division.
“There’s super, super talent in this division,” Colbert said. “I’m up for all challenges and whatever it takes to be the number one guy. I want there to be one face, one name in the super featherweight division – and that’s Chris Colbert, aka ‘Prime Time.’ ”
Brooklyn’s Colbert is one of four champions that the WBA recognizes within the super featherweight division. Gervonta Davis is its “super” champion at 130 pounds, Rene Alvarado holds the WBA world title and Mark Urbanov is the WBA’s “gold” champion.
“I’m not even really focusing on that,” Colbert said. “I’m just gonna continue doing what I do, and that’s dominate these fighters, so they have no choice but to let me get what I deserve.”
Colbert beat former WBA champ Jezzrel Corrales (23-4, 9 KOs) soundly in his last fight, a 12-rounder January 18 in Philadelphia. All three judges scored Colbert a wide winner that night (117-110, 117-110, 116-111), yet he wasn’t pleased with his performance.
“I don’t feel like I did very well in that last fight because of the circumstances I was under, [Corrales] running, grabbing and holding,” Colbert said. “But I did what I had to do in winning, and it wasn’t close. But I’m definitely gonna go out this fight and put on a crazy performance. And I just can’t wait.”
The 26-year-old Arboleda has won six straight bouts since Filipino journeyman Recky Dulay knocked him out in the third round of their July 2017 bout in Inglewood, California. Colbert, however, is listed as about a 14-1 favorite to beat him.
“I feel like Saturday’s just another day, another dollar,” Colbert said. “But it’s definitely a big opportunity. These are the things we worked so hard for in the beginning of our careers, so we could have days like this. I’m gonna go out there and do what I do best – and that’s be the greatest Christopher Colbert, aka ‘Prime Time,’ I can be, and win with a dominating performance, like I’ve been doing. I’m not looking to leave it in the judges’ hands, but if it do, I will win every round. I’m gonna punish him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.