Chris Colbert vs. Jaime Arboleda: “Prime Time” on SHOWTIME Boxing TONIGHT

Undefeated Interim World Super Featherweight Champion Colbert faces the toughest test of his career in the hard-hitting Arboleda this Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME Boxing Tonight.

Boxing tonight. This Saturday, December 12, live from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., future superstar and interim WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Chris “Prime Time” Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) faces hard-hitting Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) atop a SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION triple-header (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

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The Story

On a recent PBC telecast, Brooklyn’s Chris Colbert was called the “best prospect on the planet” by respected trainer and commentator Joe Goossen. That high praise is hardly overblown hyperbole for the unbeaten 24-year-old who has already been compared to a young Floyd Mayweather in both style and high-end potential.

With a decisive, high-water mark title-winning unanimous decision victory over Jezreel Corrales in his last bout and a stunning first-round KO of Miguel Beltran Jr. the fight before, the charismatic Colbert has established himself as a star-in-the-making.

Panama’s Arboleda is no slouch in the promising new talent department, either. Although nowhere near as well-regarded among boxing experts as Colbert, “Little James” has turned some heads with his dominant performances and, most recently, a hard-fought split decision victory over one-time top prospect Jayson Velez in February. The 26-year-old even got some high praise from Hall of Famer and PBC analyst Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, who compared him to legendary fellow Panamanian fighter Eusebio Pedroza.

This will be Arboleda’s fourth fight in the United States and, by far, his biggest opportunity. A win changes his life immediately.

The Stakes

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At stake is Colbert’s interim WBA super featherweight title. More importantly, Colbert’s path to superstardom and Arboleda’s drive towards a main stage presence are on the line.

The Matchup

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Colbert is an athletically gifted, supremely self-confident world class talent who appears to fall in the “can’t miss” category.

Blessed with superb hand speed and outstanding reflexes, he has enough to cruise to victory against most opposition on talent alone. What makes him an exceptional prospect, however, is a poise and in-ring analytical ability well beyond his years.

A natural righty who fights equally well from the southpaw stance, Colbert is fluid, improvisational, and hard to get a bead on. These acquired skills, combined with his natural gifts, make him a daunting opponent.

A sharp, blindingly quick jab, effective from either stance, is the table-setter for his entire offense. Although he can score solidly and effectively with both hands, his right hook from the southpaw stance seems to be his most potent one-punch weapon.

On defense, Colbert’s speed and reflexes make him exceptionally hard to hit and virtually impossible to hit twice, successively.

 I know Jaime is going to come to fight. He wants the belt as bad as I want to keep the belt. Undefeated WBA Interim World Super Featherweight Champion – Chris Colbert

Arboleda is a long, lean offense-minded fighter with fairly quick hands who comes forward looking to engage.

He’s at his best when working from a distance that allows him to fully extend his arms and get full leverage on his punches. The best weapon in his arsenal is a cracking left hook, but he’s also blessed with good pop in his right. The uppercut, with both hands, is also an effective offensive tool.

Only past nine rounds once in his six-year pro career, there’s some concern over his ability to bring high-level fire for a full twelve rounds. In his war with Velez, there did seem to be a bit of fading past the tenth round.

The Panamanian has some lapses on defense—among them, trouble establishing proper distance and a tendency to keep his hands out of defensive position—that make him vulnerable to incoming shots. His aggressive nature can also be used against him by a sufficiently savvy opponent.

The Words

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Chris Colbert

“I’m super excited to be making my big stage debut in the main event. I’m looking to put on a dominant performance, and I’m looking for the knockout if it’s there. If I can get it, that would be splendid. I know Jaime is going to come to fight. He wants the belt as bad as I want to keep the belt. It’s all going to come down to stamina, ring IQ and who has the greater will to win. There’s no way in hell I’m giving up my belt in my first defense.”

Jaime Arboleda

“Every boxer’s dream is to fight for a title and be victorious without leaving any doubt. That is my plan for December 12. I’m having the best preparation of my entire career. I feel great, strong and fast like never before. I’m sure it will be a very exciting fight from the very first round.”

The Breakdown

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On the surface, this might be seen as a showcase for a Chris Colbert who will, undoubtedly, be on to bigger and better things. But Arboleda is brimming with confidence and in possession of the kind of no-fear temperament and one-punch power that could flip scripts in an instant. The 26-year-old Panamanian sees himself as a superstar-in-the-making as well and has carried himself in recent fights as a true aspirant to elite-level standing.

Expect Colbert to do his thing, flash his brilliance and execute his game. Expect Arboleda to keep pushing forward looking to inflict damage.

Colbert may have next-level ability, but he’s only a human being—a human being who has yet to be truly tested by a young, hungry, self-confident  fighter just as hell-bent on staking his claim to stardom as him. He’ll find that test against Arboleda.

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