Thursday, January 6 2022

For all the talk about whether two-division title holder Gervonta Davis could bite more than he can chew coming up two weight classes from his last fight to challenge the undefeated 140 title holder Mario Barrios books during Saturday’s pay-per-view fight, the rising star known simply as “Tank” disagrees.

“I think [Barrios] made a mistake, ”Davis said at Thursday’s last press conference. “It’s not just the height. He thinks he’s stronger than me, so we’ll have to wait and see. If he thinks I’ve never seen someone like him, so be it. But they always learn on the night of the fight. That’s when the real me comes out. ”

Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) used the threat of his enormous punching power to consistently support his opponents and draw fans to arenas at an impressive rate. But the 26-year-old star of the Mayweather Promotions banner will drop nearly six inches tall and the skinny, aggressive Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs), a San Antonio native, who won the vacant WBA “regular” junior title. welterweight by twice dropping unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov in a 2019 unanimous decision.

“I have all the tools and I have the size to present ‘Tank’ a lot of difficulty, and that’s what I plan to do,” said Barrios. “We both throw with bad intentions. We are here to hurt and eliminate our opponent. May the best one win, let it be in round 1 [or] round 12.

“‘Tank’ Davis is going to learn what it’s like to be in there with the type of fighter I am. Buy your tickets and order the pay-per-view. I know he’s ready and we’ve got it. had a great camp in the Bay Zone, we both arrive with him on Saturday.

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The 12-round title fight is making headlines on a Showtime PPV card (9 p.m. ET) of State Farm Arena in Atlanta, the same site that Davis finished former World Champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in the 12th round of their 2019 fight when Davis made his debut at 135 pounds to win the “regular” title “WBA.

But in addition to finding out if Davis has the power to lift to a third weight class with the same impact, Barrios, 26, will move up to a class level he has yet to face as a professional.

Davis will certainly be the most talented fighter Barrios has yet to face, but the jury is still out on whether the same will hold true on the other side, especially after Davis lost weight last October for fight four-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz at just 130 pounds to deliver the Knockout of the Year with a brutal left uppercut in Round 6.

“When I fight bigger guys in the gym, I always show up,” Davis said. “I hate when people think I’m small and try to take advantage of me. It’s one of the fights where you’ll see the best of Gervonta Davis.

“It’s going to surprise him when I log on. It’s not just that I hit hard, but that’s where I put my punches and he will see that on Saturday night. It will be an exciting fight on my side and if I hurt him, we know I’m gonna get him out of there. It’s gonna be an explosive night for the sport of boxing. “

Fight card, odds

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook

  • Gervonta Davis -500 vs. Mario Barrios +380, WBA “regular” junior welterweight title
  • Erickson Lubin -270 vs. Jeison Rosario +220, junior middleweight
  • Carlos Adames -2000 vs. Alexis Salazar +1000, super welterweight
  • Batyr Akhmedov -800 vs. Argenis Mendez +500, junior welterweight


Barrios’ ability to use his jab as a naturally bigger and longer fighter will prove key to whether he will be able to control distance early and hold Davis for a long time. The problem with this scenario goes beyond the fact that Davis ‘speed advantage and his history of being the shortest man in big fights make him likely to fall under Barrios’ length. as soon as possible.

The main issue for Barrios is whether his natural instincts will kick in after he tastes a big kick from Davis and if he gives up his perks for standing and fighting. Not only does this calling card of Barrios, to some extent, as a self-proclaimed Aztec warrior have the potential to cause trouble if Davis turns out to be the biggest puncher in combat.

On the flip side, the potential of what would happen if Davis failed to move Barrios with his powerful punches remains equally interesting. If Davis were to be forced to box from the outside and rely more on movement to outsmart his opponent, the potential for a high-speed 12-round version of chess between two aggressive fighters ready to box at close range and to absorb big punishments is likely.

It may take more than half the fight for him to break Barrios, but it’s hard not to imagine Davis doing just that given how special his power feels and how dynamic and athletic his setups can be in order to land the perfect fight. shoot.

Take: Davis via TKO9

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