Eddie Hearn says Arnold Barboza Jr. wanted too much money to fight for the WBC 140-pound title held by his client, Regis Prograis.

Barboza, an undefeated 31-year-old contender from Los Angeles, became the immediate frontrunner to land a fight with Prograis in the headliner on June 17 at Smoothie King Arena in Prograis’ hometown of New Orleans after it became known that the original opponent, Liam Paro, had to bow out due to an injury.

But repeated efforts to make that fight eventually went nowhere.

In the end, Danielito Zorrilla, a once-defeated fighter out of Puerto Rico, filled in to preserve Prograis’ fight date, his first under Hearn’s Matchroom.

Barboza has claimed on social media that Hearn was lowballing him and seemed to complain that he was only being given “three weeks’ notice.” Barboza, of course, is backed by Top Rank, a rival to Hearn’s Matchroom, and Barboza’s manager, Rick Mirigian, has feuded with Prograis numerous times over the years.

“We made Arnold Barboza three different offers to Top Rank, and the money was a lot more than what we were paying Liam Paro,” Hearn said. “They can talk about this money and that money. The reality is that it was five weeks’ notice or less. I don’t think Barboza was ready unless you overpaid him.

“I don’t know what Barboza is going to do.”

Zorilla’s lone career loss, in fact, came against Barboza last year in a 10-round bout that Barboza won by unanimous decision.

Hearn, who has plans for Prograis to eventually unify belts, liked what he saw from the Puerto Rican Zorilla in that fight.

“Zorilla had a really good fight with Barboza,” Hearn said. “If you watch it back, it was a really good fight. He’s a good fighter. He’s Puerto Rican and comes to fight. I like the style. We do have three weeks to go. So it wasn’t easy to get a major name. Zorilla will come to fight, he’s a talent, and I think it’ll be a really good fight for Regis to move into the big fights.”

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.