After winning titles at super featherweight and lightweight, Gervonta Davis is officially set to challenge WBA “world” super lightweight champion Mario Barrios on June 26th in the main event of a four-fight Showtime pay-per-view.
Davis (24-0, 23 KO) took the IBF super featherweight title from Jose Pedraza in 2017 and defended it with a three-round wipeout of Liam Walsh, only to lose it on the scales against Francisco Fonseca. He went on to claim the WBA belt in the division, move up to 135 to smash Yuriorkis Gamboa for the “world” belt, and defend both at the same time via cretinous WBA shenanigans with a Knockout of the Year candidate against Leo Santa Cruz last October.
He’s presently facing charges stemming from an alleged hit-and-run in November.
“I’m excited to make history on June 26 in Atlanta and become a three-division world champion,” said Davis. “Atlanta welcomed me with open arms for my fight against Gamboa, and I couldn’t wait to come back and headline a spectacular SHOWTIME PPV card. Mario Barrios is an undefeated champion, but he hasn’t ever faced anyone like me before. Moving up to 140-pounds is a big challenge, but I’ve been working hard in camp, and I’ll be ready. Thank you to my whole team for making this historic boxing event possible. Make sure you get your tickets early because this fight is definitely selling out! Keep supporting me, and I’ll fight for you!”
San Antonio’s Barrios (26-0, 17 KO) gritted his way past Batyr Akhmedov for his current title in 2019 and has managed just one defense since, a beating of PBC regular Ryan Karl on the same card that saw Davis fell Santa Cruz. He’ll enjoy more than six inches of height and three inches of reach on “Tank.”
“Fighting on SHOWTIME PPV is a dream come true and an opportunity that I’m going to take full advantage of,” said Barrios. “Gervonta Davis is a pound-for-pound champion, and it’s going to be an honor sharing the ring with him. This fight is my shining moment and the pinnacle of the boxing world, on the biggest stage possible. Boxing fans around the globe will be watching this fight, and I’m coming to shock the world. To all my Mexican fans, I’m going to bring this historic victory home for La Raza.”
In the co-feature, top WBC super welterweight contender Erickson Lubin (23-1, 16 KO) looks to make his case for another crack at champion Jermell Charlo at former two-belt champion Jeison Rosario’s (20-2-1, 14 KO) expense. Lubin has won five straight since his first run-in with Charlo, most recently defeating former Olympian Terrell Gausha in September, while “Banana” fights for the first time since falling to Charlo a week later.
“I’m so ready for this fight, and we’ve been working hard in preparation for Rosario,” said Lubin. “This fight is another step closer to getting that world title shot. Coach Cunningham and I have a great game plan in place. We know this is going to be a tough fight, and the fans are going to see a much-improved version of myself. I’ve taken my training to the next level during this training camp. Rosario is a former world champion who I know will bring his best, which is going to make for a great night of boxing. This card is stacked, but I’m going to steal the show with an incredible performance. I will not be denied. I’m coming out on top. It’s Hammer Time!”
“I make no excuses for losing the fight to Charlo, but that was then, and this is now,” said Rosario. “I have turned to a new page in my career with my new trainer Herman Caicedo. I will not lose again, especially in this fight against Lubin. He’s a great contender, and I respect his abilities, but I will knock him out on June 26.”
The man whom Rosario beat for those belts, Julian “J-Rock” Williams (27-2-1, 16 KO) ends a 17-month layoff against Brian Mendoza (19-1-1, 13 KO). Williams boasts an impressive victory over Jarrett Hurd, Mendoza was last seen beating “Cornflake” LaManna by questionable decision.
“This has been the longest layoff of my career, so I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “Mendoza is a decent fighter. I’ve even been in the gym with him, and he’s a good guy. But on June 26, it’s going to be all business. I just need to come out on top. He doesn’t have anything that I haven’t seen before. I know he’ll be ready because this is like the Super Bowl for him. So I know he’ll be ready, but I’ll be ready too. If I’m able to get the win, then it’s on to bigger and better opportunities. But I’m definitely not looking past Brian because I know how seriously he’s taking this fight.”
“This fight against Julian Williams is just the fight I’ve been waiting for,” said Mendoza. “I’m planning to take full advantage of the opportunity. Julian Williams is a great fighter, but after June 26, the whole world is going to know that I belong at this level.”
The aforementioned Akhmedov (8-1, 7 KO) opens the show in a clash with veteran Algenis Mendez (25-6-3, 12 KO). Akhmedov bounced back from the narrow loss to Barrios by mauling Rey Perez in two minutes, and he faces a veteran in Mendez who seems to have found his place as a tricky prospect checker.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring for a big fight on June 26,” said Akhmedov. “I’ve been training hard to get another shot at the title. I know that if I make a big statement and defeat a former world champion in Mendez, I expect my next fight will be for the title. I’m always in exciting fights that fans love, and this matchup is going to be no different.”
“I am ready for anything Akhmedov brings and then a world title fight after,” said Mendez. “I believe that I beat Hitchins in my last fight, even though I was coming off a long layoff. I’m in great shape right now. Akhmedov is a hard puncher, but the fans are going to see me shine against him. There is a lot left in my tank, and that will be obvious to everyone on June 26.”