By Tommy Gray: Trainer Virgil Hunter is proud of his fighter former WBA ‘regular’ light welterweight champion Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) for the performance he put in against superstar Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) last Saturday night.
WBA secondary 140-lb champion Barrios, 26, gave Tank all he could handle through the first half of the fight with the forward pressure he was putting on him.
It wasn’t until the eighth round, that Davis got control of the fight after knocking Barrios down twice.
Davis would later drop Barrios in the eleventh round and stop him moments later. Barrios was hurt and tired by that point in the contest.
Hunter believes that Barrios created the blueprint for other fighters to follow for them to potentially beat the 26-year-old Gervonta. However, Hunter says a fighter on another level can use the blueprint.
Unfortunately, with how Mayweather Promotions carefully select Tank Davis’ opposition, he may not ever fight anyone on a higher level talent-wise than what we saw in his fight against Barrios.
Floyd Mayweather Jr, the boss of Mayweather Promotions, said last Saturday night that Gervonta will only be fighting opposition from his and the PBC stable.
In other words, Tank WON’T be fighting elite-level fighters during his career that could follow the blueprint created by Barrios to defeat him again and again.
Fortunately for Tank, the Mayweather Promotions and PBC companies aren’t well represented at 130 and 135. They have some fighters, but mainly B & C-level quality guys who lack the talent to take their careers to the next level and threaten a fighter like Tank, Vasily Lomachenko, Devin Haney, or Ryan Garcia.
Although they have some talented guys at 140, Tank won’t be campaigning in that weight class, according to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe.
Davis’ fight against WBA ‘regular’ 140-lb champion Barrios last Saturday was a one-off for him, an opportunistic-level fight. Tank now intends on dropping back down to 130 or 135 to continue fighting in those weight classes.
Hunter says Gervonta vulnerable to pressure
“It’s hard to say right now. He boxed a good fight,” said trainer Virgil Hunter about Mario Barrios in his performance against Tank Davis.
“I’m very proud of him. He held his own for a while, and he showed toughness, he showed heart, and it’s just a growing fight.
“I think it was the speed, I’m sure it was the speed, and he was doing well when he had Tank backing up,” said Hunter when asked what the problem was for Barrios. “He let Tank come forward and that confused him a little bit.
“You saw for yourself that he was successful doing it,” Hunter said about Barrios showing that Gervonta is vulnerable when he’s being pressured and walked down. I think it’s a blueprint to follow for somebody on another level so to speak.
“When he [Tank Davis] steps up to fight some real tough fights, I think that’ll be the recipe [to beat him by pressing him]. Devin [Haney] would give him a good fight, for sure.
“A good fight [Ryan Garcia]. A good fight [Teofimo Lopez]. I don’t want to be negative about Tank. I’m giving him his due right now,” said Virgil Hunter.
Those fighters that Hunter mentioned aren’t with PBC or Mayweather Promotions, which suggests that they won’t be considered as potential opponents for Tank to fight.
The guys that Tank will be fighting at 130 and 135 will likely continue to be the B-level guys.
If what Floyd says is true about Tank only fighting PBC and Mayweather promotions opposition, we won’t see him fight Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Vasily Lomachenko at 135.
There are some decent fighters that will be able to follow the blueprint that Barrios created to give Tank issues, but that’s aren’t opposition that is on “another level” than what we saw in his fight against Barrios.
Mario Barrios talks to his fans after loss to Gervonta
“Thank you everyone that pulled out here in Atlanta. Y’all didn’t disappoint. Came out here and left everything in the ring as promised, but it wasn’t my night. Still, love this s***. I’ll be back. #TeamBarrios #ElAzteca,” said Barrios on his Twitter @boxer_barrios.
If this is as good as it gets for Barrios as far as big fights for the remainder of his career, he did himself proudly.
Barrios is planning on moving up to 147, and he’s going to have a tough time trying to beat the top guys in that weight class. He lacks the power and the defense to beat the fading guys Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Keith Thurman.
Moreover, the younger guys Vergil Ortiz Jr and Jaron Ennis would likely destroy Barrios within two or three rounds.
Barrios’ only chance of doing anything is for him to stay at 140 because he’s going to be food for the 147-pounders, and his career could end quickly once he starts fighting the contenders in that division.
Tank’s promoter Leonard Ellerbe gives Barrios credit
“@Boxer_Barrios, man, you are one tough tough dude/warrior. Great fight, nobody believed me, but you did everything you possibly could to f*** up our plans.
“Although you came up short last night, you showed the world what an excellent fighter you are. Much respect, brother,” said @LEllerbe.