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Gervonta Davis to challenge Mario Barrios for WBA 140-lb title in summer

Image: Gervonta Davis to challenge Mario Barrios for WBA 140-lb title in summer

By Sean Jones: In a questionable move, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis will be going up two divisions to challenger WBA secondary light welterweight champion Mario ‘El Azteca’ Barrios for his ‘regular’ title this summer.

This will be a huge size disadvantage for the 5’5 1/2″ Davis taking on the 5’10” Barrios, and he’s going to have to figure out how to get in range without getting picked apart by the WBA belt-holder.

Mike Coppinger reporting the news, and it’s disappointing if you’re a fan of Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) because Tank is taking on the secondary champion with the World Boxing Association at light welterweight.

What’s unclear what Tank’s goal is in going after another WBA ‘regular’ strap. He already holds the WBA secondary title at 135, while Teofimo Lopez holds the more prestigious ‘Super’ title. If Tank wins the WBA ‘regular’ belt at 140, he won’t get the credit he thinks he’s going to get.

If Tank’s goal is to win the WBA light welterweight title and then release like a fish in a river, he would be following in Canelo Alvarez’s path of capturing titles just for the sake of it and not carrying about taking on the best champions.

You hate to see fighters mindlessly capturing titles in a superficial manner, believing naively that the wins will translate to them receiving more admiration from the casual boxing fans. It won’t.

The only true way of getting the attention of the casuals is to take on the best fighters so that it creates a huge amount of buzz. When a fighter does this, the effect is like a huge wave that catches the casuals, forcing them to pay attention. Davis is taking the weaker approach used by Canelo Alvarez by taking on lesser opposition.

Image: Gervonta Davis to challenge Mario Barrios for WBA 140-lb title in summer

The main champion with the WBA is Josh Taylor, who is referred to as the ‘Super World’ champ. That would be the guy that Tank should be fighting if he wanted to be recognized as the true champion with the WBA at 140. Taylor is a talented guy that would likely destroy Barrios with ease.

Mario Barrios’ best wins:

  • Ryan Karl
  • Juan Jose Velasco
  • Richard Zamora
  • Jose Roman
  • Devis Boschiero

There’s no guesswork about it. Taylor world’s apart from Barrios in the talent department, and so are Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez. That’s why it’s an empty move on Tank’s part in challenging Barrios for his WBA ‘regular’ title rather than the real WBA champion Josh Taylor.

With that said, Taylor would likely box circles around Tank Davis and make him look horrible. Mayweather Promotions obviously sees the imitations in their fighter Tank, and that’s why they’re having him target the sub-champion Barrios instead of Taylor.

Also, this a step-down for him from his last fight against Leo Santa Cruz, and fans weren’t even excited about that match-up, given that Leo is someone that should be fighting at 126.

Davis’ last fight was at super featherweight with his sixth-round knockout win over Santa Cruz on October 31st on Showtime pay-per-view. It’s going to be interesting to see if Davis’ promoters at Mayweather Promotions choose to put his fight against the 25-year-old Barrios on PPV on Showtime as well.

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While Tank is a popular fighter, he’s got to have a recognizable opponent for him to be able to sell, and Barrios isn’t well-known, even with the hard-core boxing fans.

Tank Davis recently revealed to his boxing fans on social media that he’d be talking on a world champion, but he let them know that it wouldn’t be at 130 or 135. Fans naturally assumed that Tank would drain down to 126 to take on WBC featherweight champion, but that didn’t make sense because he has had problems getting down to the 130-lb limit. Asking him to lose an additional four pounds to make 126 would have been impossible.

Given Tank’s weight issues, it’s not a smart move for him to be fighting at 140 unless he intends to stay in this weight class. If Tank chooses to go back down to 135 or 130 after this, he might find it difficult to lose weight without draining himself.

Image: Gervonta Davis to challenge Mario Barrios for WBA 140-lb title in summer

We don’t know is if Mayweather promotions were having problems getting fights for Tank at 135. While Tank is one of the Four Kings at lightweight, the only guy that has shown interest in fighting him among those four is Ryan Garcia.

We saw what Ryan did when he abruptly bailed out on the Tank fight when he thought he would get a fight against Manny Pacquiao. That fight didn’t happen for Ryan, and Tank wasn’t going to take the chances of getting burned a second time by the flighty Golden Boy fighter.

“Sources: A 140-pound fight between Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Mario Barrios is in the works for this summer. @Gervontaa’s last fight was at 130 pounds, so he’s moving up two weight classes for a bout with a big, undefeated 140-pounder,” said @MikeCoppinger.

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