By Sean Jones: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis will be moving up to the light welterweight division to challenge WBA ‘regular’ champion Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) on June 26t on Showtime pay-per-view at a till to be determined venue.
Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions sees this as a tough fight for the former two-division world champion Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) because he’s giving away five inches in height Barrios.
It’s a lot of size to be giving up for Tank, 5’5″, because he doesn’t have any experience fighting guys as large as Barrios. We don’t know how Tank will react when he gets in the ring with the lanky power-punching Texas native Barrios.
Tank Davis vs. Mario Barrios = 50-50 fight
Mikey Garcia says he sees the Davis vs. Barrios fight as a “50-50” type of fight, which tells you what Gervonta is up against on June 26th.
The co-feature bout on the Davis – Barrios card is former IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jeison Rosario taking on Erickson Lubin.
Those two are squaring off in a WBC 154-lb title eliminator to decide the mandatory for WBC champion Jermell Charlo.
Davis will use grit to deal with Barrios
Tank Davis will use his “grit and his skillset” said Ellerbe to Insider.com on how he’ll overcome the 5’10” Barrios’ huge five-inch height advantage. “He’s [Gervonta] looking to knock your f—— head off,
“I’m sure it will be one where he has to get inside of Mario Barrios,” Ellerbe continued. “And that is not going to be an easy task. But I’m confident he’ll figure it out as he gets there.”
Davis is going to need to get inside on the 25-year-old Barrios for him to have a chance of winning. If he attempts to fight Mario from the outside, he’s going to get picked apart.
Barrios looked good in beating Ryan Karl, Batyr Akhmedov, Juan Jose Velasco, Eudy Bernardo, and Devis Boschiero. He’s been matched tough by his handlers since he turned professional in 2013, and he’ll be ready.
Tank Davis has taken some flak from the boxing world for choosing to fight Barrios for his world title rather than the more esteemed Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor.
It’s possible that Tank wants to test the waters against a slightly lesser champion in Barrios because he takes on the real thing in Ramirez or Taylor.
Teofimo Lopez believes that Tank picked Barrios because he wants to have the ability to brag that he’s a three-division world champion. Tank will be able to tell his fans that if he beats Barrios, and the casuals will be impressed.
With that said, the hardcore boxing fans will obviously know that Davis picked the weakest link among the champions at 140.
Barrios is a “quiet assassin” says Ellerbe
“A guy like Barrios is, you know, a very young fighter with the opportunity of a lifetime, in a big event, with one of the biggest stars in the sport. And he’ll be looking to knock Tank [out],” said Ellerbe.
“He’s a solid fighter, very confident, and he’s one of those quiet assassins. He doesn’t do a whole lot of talking. He does his talking in the ring,” said Ellerbe.
If Davis fights like he did in his last match against Leo Santa Cruz, Barrios will have a superb chance of beating him. Davis looked poor against Santa Cruz up until he knocked him out in the sixth round.
Santa Cruz landed a lot of shots on Davis in the first five rounds, and the fight was even.
In Davis’ previous fight against an injured Yuriorkis Gamboa, it took him until the 12th round to take him out. Gamboa was fighting with a torn right Achilles tendon from the second round.