Robbie Davies Jr returns to the ring on Saturday, Feb. 20 (DAZN, 2 pm ET) in the co-feature of the Avanesyan-Kelly card, and the 31-year-old former European, British, and Commonwealth champion is looking to make a big career push in 2021.
Davies (20-2, 13 KO) was on a really good run before his 2019 loss to Lewis Ritson, and only managed to get in one fight in 2021 before COVID wreaked havoc on the sport and the world. He’ll be facing Mexico’s Gabriel Valenzuela (22-2-1, 13 KO) in a 10-round bout.
“I’m expecting Valenzuela to bring his A-game,” Davies said. “I’m expecting a hard fight but I want to move as quickly as possible this year. I want to get a big fight in the summer and another big name at the end of the year. I want this year to really push me on.”
Davies will be the favorite, but the radar may be up even more than normal for him, as there are some similarities between this matchup and last weekend’s shocker where Mauricio Lara upset Josh Warrington at the same venue.
Like fellow Mexican fighter Lara, Valenzuela has little to no serious record, and he does have a couple of losses, but he comes in on a win streak (also like Lara), taking his last 12, eight of them by stoppage.
There will be a minor IBF belt on the line, which represents a chance for the winner to become established in that sanctioning body’s top 15 contenders, and as we keep mentioning, the title scene at 140 may be tied up by Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez right now, but all four of those belts could potentially go vacant by the end of 2021, if the Taylor-Ramirez winner were to move up for money fights at welterweight. It’s a good time to jockey for position with the sanctioning bodies.