As first revealed by Twitter’s @rangerrollins and later confirmed by The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, a clash between WBA 130/135-pound champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and 140-pound “world” champion Mario Barrios is “in the works” for this coming summer. Both the date and location “are still being decided at this time.”
Going by some of Davis’ (24-0, 23 KO) previous comments, I’d wager on seeing this sometime in June.
Davis only fought once in 2020, but it was a performance to remember, as he crushed Leo Santa Cruz with a vicious uppercut to score what likely would have been the Knockout of the Year but for Jose Zepeda. Because the WBA are cretins, the 130-pound victory both served as a defense for “Tank’s” secondary lightweight title and secured him the “super” super featherweight title previously held by “El Terremoto.”
He’d previously held the IBF super featherweight belt before losing it on the scales against Francisco Fonseca.
Barrios (26-0, 17 KO) picked up his own secondary belt in 2019 with a questionable decision over Batyr Akhmedov, starting strong but fading down the stretch against hi fellow unbeaten bruiser. He was a fair bit more dominant against Ryan Karl in his inaugural defense last Halloween, and though he’d been in talks to face Regis Prograis and recently discussed a potential move to welterweight, it looks as though he’s staying put for a crack at Davis.
Though unexpected, there’s a lot to like about this matchup. Between Davis’ raw firepower and Barrios’ rampant aggression, there’s almost no way this doesn’t produce fireworks. Plus, Barrios’ massive height and reach advantages add a nice layer of intrigue. It ain’t the fight we wanted, but I definitely wouldn’t say no.