Gervonta Davis to move up 2-weight classes, challenge Barrios for WBA Title


130-Pound WBA (Super) Champion and 135-Pound WBA (Regular) title-holder Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) will move up another weight class when he challenges undefeated WBA (Regular) 140-Pound champion Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) on June 26 on Showtime PPV at a venue and location yet to be determined.

Gervonta Davis made his PPV Debut with a Knockout of the year candidate against 4-weight Mexican world champion Leo Santa Cruz back in October 2020 and will continue his journey to stardom and Pound-For-Pound ascent on June 26 when he attempts to become a 3-weight world champion by dethroning Barrios.

Davis turned down a fight against Ryan Garcia in favour of the Barrios fight and Garcia is now instead of fighting Fortuna with the intention of fighting Tank later in 2021. Davis comes into the fight with huge physical disadvantages as Barrios is the natural 140-pounder while Davis’s last fight was at 130. Davis is 4 1/2 inches shorter than Barrios’s 5’10”.

Gervonta Davis vs Mario Barrios: Showtime PPV Headliner

Gervonta Davis
Gervonta Davis Scores an emphatic 6th-Round Knockout

Gervonta Davis turned professional at 18 years of age with an outstanding 206-15 amateur record and was touted as a top prospect early. In 2015 he signed under Mayweather Promotions who guided him to his eventual title shot against 22-0 IBF World champion Jose Pedraza who he dismantled and stopped in 7 rounds.

Davis went on to box in 5 more super featherweight title fights becoming a two-weight champion in the process due to losing his title on the scale before stepping up a weight class in late 2019 against Cuban top-amateur Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2) who he struggled with early on and took 12 rounds to stop in a very underwhelming performance.

Floyd Mayweather was adamant that would be Davis’s last fight on regular Showtime and claimed he was a PPV fighter from then on and this came to fruition against 4-Weight Champion Mexico’s Leo Santa Cruz on October 31 2020.

Santa Cruz offered a lot of resistance and scored on Davis early; making it a competitive fight until Tank landed a vicious left uppercut that saw him score a KO of the year candidate. Davis-LSC garnered around 225,000 buys on Showtime PPV which was impressive for a PPV debut and led to him fighting again on PPV against Barrios.

Mario Barrios WBA Regular 140 Pound World Champion
Mario Barrios WBA Regular 140 Pound World Champion

Mario Barrios is little known and an odd opponent for Davis’s PPV fight but is a top 10 Super Lightweight and is a good test for Davis at 140. Barrios won the vacant WBA Regular title against Batyr Akhmedov (7-0) in 2019 on the Spence-Porter PPV undercard in a very tough fight where two knockdowns secured a close points win.

Since then he has made the one defence of his ‘secondary belt against Ryan Karl (18-2) who he stopped in the 6th-Round on the Tank-LSC PPV Undercard. Barrios is somewhat easy to hit which is a bad attribute to have against a power-puncher like Davis but has very good power punches (notably Right Hand and Left Hook) and with his size advantage, Gervonta Davis will have to be wary early on.

There will be plenty of criticism of Gervonta Davis avoiding top fighters at 130 and 135 and choosing to skip all of them to pick the weakest link at 140 but Barrios is a tough challenge and with Taylor/Ramirez occupied he was the only World Champion available at Super Lightweight.

Additionally, the Frampton-Herring-Stevenson situation holds the WBO belt hostage, the IBF is vacant and to be contested and with Valdez coming off a win on February 20 it is unlikely he would be ready for June. At lightweight, Lopez has a mandatory obligation and Haney is facing Linares and has WBC Mandatories pending which means any fight at lightweight would be non-title.

Gervonta Davis vs Mario Barrios: June 26 on Showtime PPV

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