Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Mario Barrios are just about set for Saturday night’s Showtime pay-per-view main event, with just the Friday weigh-in set to go.
It will be the first bout for the 26-year-old Davis (24-0, 23 KO) at 140 lbs, having won titles at 130 and a secondary belt at 135. He’ll be going for another secondary belt here, as Barrios (26-0, 17 KO) holds the WBA “world” (aka “regular”) title, with Josh Taylor, of course, holding the top WBA belt, the one recognized as the one that matters.
Barrios, 26, actually started his career as a 130 lb prospect, too, but he was huge at that weight, and is still tall and long at 140, standing 5’10” and towering over Davis, listed at 5’5”, at Thursday’s final presser.
“I have all of the tools and I have the size to present a lot of difficulties to Tank, and that’s what I plan on doing,” Barrios said. “Both of us throw with bad intentions. We’re in there to hurt and take out our opponent. May the best man win. whether it is round one or round 12.”
But Davis suspects Barrios may be too reliant on those measurement advantages.
“I think he is making a mistake. It’s not just the height. He thinks he’s stronger than me, so we are just going to have to wait and see,” Davis said. “If he believes that I’ve never seen anyone like him, then so be it. But they always learn on fight night. That’s when the real me comes out.”
“Tank” said he sees the move to 140 as “a great opportunity,” and added, “When I fight bigger guys in the gym, I always show up. I hate when people think that I’m small and try to take advantage of me. This is one of the fights where you will see the best of Gervonta Davis.”
“Tank Davis is going to learn what it’s like to be in there with the type of fighter that I am,” Barrios stated. “We’re going to find out a lot about each of us on Saturday. I expect him to come with his best, and I’m coming with nothing less. It’s going to be bombs away.”
Davis believes his power will fully carry up to 140, and that it will be Barrios who’s in for a shock, not him.
“It’s going to surprise him when I connect. It’s not only that I hit hard, but its where I place my punches and he will see that Saturday night,” Davis said.
And despite holding the belt at stake and being an unbeaten young fighter himself, Barrios is keenly aware that he is the “B-side” here as far as marketing, and that Mayweather Promotions and Premier Boxing Champions see Davis as the superstar in the making, taking note of something Mayweather CEO Leonard Ellerbe said.
“Like Leonard Ellerbe said, they have big plans for him,” Barrios said. “I fully intend on fucking up those plans come Saturday.”