Yves Ulysse Jr. and Ismael Barroso are prepared to take the next step towards challenging for a 140-pound title.
Both boxers made the junior welterweight limit ahead of Thursday’s main event at The OC Hangar in Costa Mesa, California. Canada’s Ulysse Jr. (18-1, 9KOs) weighed in right at the 140-pound mark, while Venezuela’s Barroso (21-3-2, 20KOs) came in at a trim and fit 138.4 pounds.
Their scheduled 12-round bout comes with a fringe title at stake, its significance declaring the winner as a viable challenger to a major 140-pound belt in the upcoming year.
Ulysse Jr. fights for the third straight time stateside, after having previously fought north of the border just once before through his first 17 fights. The 31-year old contender is coming off of a hard fought 10-round decision over countryman Steve Claggett this past April in Indio, California.
Barroso is a former interim lightweight titlist hoping to recreate the same magic that came with his 140-pound debut more than two years ago. The now 36-year old southpaw scored a major upset in knocking out Fidel Maldonado Jr. in Oct. 2017, but has since lost two of his past three starts. He enters Thursday’s contest following more than eight months out of the ring since a stoppage win this past March in his adopted hometown of Miami, Florida.
The evening’s chief support offers a pivotal middleweight crossroads bout between unbeaten D’Mitrius Ballard (20-0, 13KOs) and Brazil’s Yamaguchi Falcao (16-1, 7KOs).
Both boxers hit the mark for their scheduled 10-round regional title fight. Ballard weighed 159.6 pounds, while Falcao came in right at the 160-pound limit.
Ballard trains under the watchful eye of noted Baltimore coach Calvin Ford, serving as a stablemate to unbeaten former two-time 130-pound titlist Gervonta Davis among other rising contenders from the famed Upton Boxing Gym.
Falcao is a 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and the older brother of current unbeaten middleweight contender Esquiva Falcao, who captured a Silver medal during the same competition in London.
Thursday’s show airs live on DAZN and Golden Boy’s Facebook page, beginning 10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox