With Mario Barrios set to defend his secondary 140lb title this weekend against Gervonta Davis, Barrios spoke to the media today about why this match-up will be different for Tank than any of his past opponents. Barrios says he’s prepared himself well for battle and will do what’s necessary to pull out the win.
“This is all brand new, but I’m taking it all in and excited to be in Atlanta. I’m just excited to go out there on Saturday and give everybody a great fight.
“No doubt about it, Tank is by far the toughest test for another title defense and I’m going to do whatever it takes to be successful on Saturday. There’s going to be fireworks on Saturday.
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited for this chance. This is a very winnable fight for me, regardless of what everyone has been saying. I’m just excited to be back in the ring and in Atlanta.
“I think it’s not going to be until we both get in the ring that people realize how much size I really have for 140 pounds. Somehow, he’s still the favorite although he’s the challenger in this fight. I just take that as more motivation for me.
“Height-wise, reach. Those are the major advantages. I’m just as dangerous as he is. And just as explosive and just as fast. And I will show that on fight night.
“When they came to me, I said let’s do it but I was like, ‘I’m not going down to 135,’ and they said, ‘Nah, he’s going to come up.’ And I said, ‘Even better.’
“I’ve seen him fight plenty of times. He’s a great fighter and he’s been very successful at the lower weight divisions against the smaller opponents. But this is a different fight for him.
“I didn’t take too much from the Leo Santa Cruz fight. I felt [Gervonta] fought him the way he did because he didn’t respect Santa Cruz’s power. But with our fight he’s going to have no choice and he’s not going to fight me the way he fought Santa Cruz. Whatever he does fight night, I’m going to have to adapt.
“I’ve been boxing just as long as he has and I have an excellent boxing IQ, just as he has. It only takes one punch to change a fight, and he definitely has that one punch. But I’ll find out if that power carries over to 140 pounds.”