Former super bantamweight titleholder Hugo Ruiz will step in on short notice to replace the injured Abner Mares on Feb. 9, facing Gervonta Davis for a super featherweight title in the Showtime main event from Carson, California.
Ruiz (39-4, 33 KO) just fought on Jan. 19, beating Alberto Guevara over 10 rounds on the Pacquiao-Broner undercard in a featherweight bout. Ruiz, 30, now moves up another weight class, but in all reality this isn’t a whole lot different on paper, at least in some ways, than Mares fighting Davis. Mares, a former titleholder at bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight, figured to be giving up some natural size to Davis, too.
Ruiz was actually slated to face Jhack Tepora on Jan. 19, but Tepora badly missed weight and was replaced the day before the event.
“I trained for three months to fight a southpaw [Tepora] when I fought in January,” said Ruiz. “When the opponent changed, it was hard to adjust in 24 hours. After the fight I immediately went back to the gym, because you never know what’s going to happen in boxing. I’m 100 percent ready to knockout Gervonta Davis.”
Mares was going to be the underdog against the 24-year-old Davis, and Ruiz definitely will be. Turning around just a couple of weeks after a 10-round fight to move up another division and face a dangerous opponent is brave of Ruiz, so hopefully he’s getting a nice paycheck for saving the Showtime broadcast.