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Gervonta Davis vs. Abner Mares close to a done deal

Abner Mares

By Jeff Aranow: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Abner Mares are reportedly close to finalizing a deal for a fight in early 2019, according to RingTV.

Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) will be defending his WBA Super World super featherweight title against the 32-year-old former three division world champion Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs).

Mares’ lack of size is going to be a real obstacle to him beating Davis. In Mares’ fights at featherweight, he lacked the size to beat the best, and he lost his last fight to Leo Santa Cruz. Mares got by with his tremendous boxing skills to defeat Andres Gutierrez, Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar, Arturo Reyes, Jose Ramirez and Jonathan Oquendo. Mares was able to win the WBA World featherweight title in beating Jesus Cuellar in December 2016, but that wasn’t one of the better fighters in the division. Mares came up short when he fought Santa Cruz twice, showing that he was too small for the weight class. Mares never fought some of the talented fighters at 126 like Gary Russell Jr., Josh Warrington, Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez. There’s a good chance that he would have lost to most of those guys.

It’s difficult to imagine Mares being able to compete with a guy with the punching power, speed and youth of Davis. Mares isn’t a knockout puncher, so he’s going to need to be able to take Davis’ power shots for 12 rounds somehow. That’s not easy to do. Only one fighter has ever been able to go the full distance with Davis in 2014 in German Meraz, who he beat by a 6 round unanimous decision. Davis knocked Meraz down twice in the fight in dropping him in rounds 3 and 5. Had the fight been a 10 or 12 rounder, Davis clearly would have knocked Meraz out. Since then, Davis has gotten better as he’s matured. He was only 19-years-old when he fought Meraz. Davis is about to turn 24 this month, and he’s looking unbeatable at the weight. Unfortunately for Mares, he’s about to run into a buzz-saw against Davis at the wrong time. Mares would have been better off fighting Davis four years ago rather than now.

Davis vs. Mares will be televised on Premier Boxing Champions on Fox or Showtime. Mares will be challenging for Davis’ WBA 130 lb title.

This is a fight that has been talked about recently, and it looks like it’s about to happen. First it was going to happen, and then it wasn’t. Now it’ look like Mares and Davis are going to face each other after all.

Mares, 32, is facing a much younger fighter in 23-year-old Davis, and might be too late in the game for him. Davis is on fire, ad looking very hard to beat now that Vasyl Lomachenko has moved up to lightweight. The only guy in the division that could be a threat to Davis now is Miguel Berchelt.

It’s going to be tough on Mares though, as he’ll be moving up in weight to super featherweight after losing his last fight against WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz on June 9th in a rematch. That was the second time that Mares has lost to Santa Cruz. Three years ago, Mares was beaten by Santa Cruz by a 12 round majority decision in August 2015. After that loss, Mares rebounded with 2 consecutive victories over Andres Gutierrez and Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar. Although Mares was able to make the rematch with Santa Cruz close, he clearly lost the fight against the younger and stronger fighter.

On paper, it seems like a bad idea for an aging fighter like Mares to move up to super featherweight. Mares’ last fight against Santa Cruz showed that he lacks the fire power to get the job done at 126. As such, moving up to 130 to take on arguably the most talented fighter i the weight class in Davis might not be the smartest move for Mares. Of course, the money might make it worthwhile for Davis.

A victory for Mares would make him a four-division world champion, and it would prove to a lot of boxing fans that he’s not past his prime. Mares hasn’t looked as impressive at 126 as he had when fighting at 118 and 122. Going up to 130 might be too much of a leap for Mares. Fighting a young lion like Davis in his first fight in the super featherweight division might be a bad idea.

Mares’ best years of his career were from 2009 to 2013. Mares’ career hasn’t been the same since losing to Jhonny Gonzalez by a 1st round knockout in 2013.

Davis has been complaining about inactivity, as his promoters at Mayweather Promotions haven’t been keeping him as busy he’d like to be. Davis has fought only once in 2018, beating Jesus Cuellar by a 3rd round knockout on April 21. Davis wants to be fighting frequently against the best. Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn has approached Mayweather Promotions with the idea of co-promoting Davis on their DAZN cards. It hasn’t worked out though, seeing that Mayweather Promotions has other ideas for Davis. Still, Davis is done for the year, and he’s not happy about it. Davis would like to fight as frequently as possible, but he can’t do that when his management aren’t setting up fights for him.

Davis is training now, and already getting ready for the fight against Mares.

It’s been five months since Mares lost to Santa Cruz in their rematch last June. With no fights scheduled, Mares will get a good long break until he returns to the ring to fight Davis in 2019.

Mares is going to need to box carefully for him to have a chance to beat Davis. If Mare stands and trades with Davis, he likely won’t last too long. It’ll take a miracle for Mares to beat a talent like Davis. Mares’ best years were at bantamweight. He’ll be like a fish out of water fighting at super featherweight against Davis.

A win for Davis over Mares could lead to fights against the likes of Alberto Machado and Tevin Farmer. Those would be interesting fights. Miguel Berchet might be the best of the bunch. Davis vs. Bercelt would be huge if it can get made.

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