Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera, who earlier this month pulled out of a world title elimination fight against heavy-handed Artur Beterbiev because he was unhappy with the terms, will instead face a much less risky opponent in Paul Parker.
Barrera will face Parker in a scheduled 10-round fight on April 15 in the main event of an HBO Latino-televised doubleheader (11 p.m. ET/PT) at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, Main Events announced on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old Barrera (18-1, 13 KOs), a former standout amateur from Cuba now fighting out of Miami, had been scheduled to square off with Russian powerhouse Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) on April 21 in Miami after Beterbiev promoter Yvon Michel won a purse bid for the bout, which was meant to produce one of unified word titleholder Andre Ward's mandatory challengers.
However, Barrera, unhappy with the results of the purse bid he had agreed to abide by, refused to sign the contract and pulled out of the fight.
"It has been a tough start to the year for me but I've been in the gym working and I'm ready for this opportunity," Barrera said. "It is another step towards the ultimate goal of contending for a world title. My opponent is a very good boxer. We have studied him in the gym and are ready for everything he will bring come April 15th."
Last March, Barrera lost a lopsided 12-round decision to Ward, who in November controversially outpointed Sergey Kovalev to win three light heavyweight belts. Barrera returned from the loss to Ward to knock out contender Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in the seventh round of an intense slugfest in December in Indio, California, in an HBO Latino main event.
Parker (8-1, 4 KOs), 32, of Toledo, Ohio, suffered his lone defeat by third-round knockout to Shabranskyy in June 2015. Parker bounced back to win an eight-round split decision against Lionell Thompson in his most recent fight in February 2016.
Parker accepted the bout with Barrera after Main Events matchmaker Jolene Mizzone told ESPN she had gone through a list of 20 other prospective opponents, all of whom turned down the opportunity to face Barrera. Parker, however, was happy to get the chance.
"Well everyone thinks it's a risky fight, but where others see risk, I see opportunity and I plan to capitalize on this opportunity," Parker said.
Russian middleweight Arif Magomedov (18-1, 11 KOs) will face Elias Espadas (13-3, 8 KOs), of Mexico, in the scheduled 10-round co-feature.
Magomedov, 24, suffered an upset 10-round decision loss to Andrew Hernandez last May in Las Vegas but bounced back to knock out Chris Herrmann in the second round in November in Russia. Espadas, 26, has won four fights in a row since losing two bouts in a row by six- and eight-round decision.
The card is the second installment of Main Events' "Mohegan Sun's Rising Stars Boxing Series." The first card was in November.
"The first 'Rising Stars' [card] was a great night of fights and a great success. I'm very pleased that we are coming back so quickly for the second installment and get a chance to build on the momentum of the debut," Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said. "Bringing in HBO Latino Boxing to televise these really fun fights -- Sullivan Barrera versus Paul Parker and Arif Magomedov versus Elias Espadas -- is just icing on the cake."