Gervonata ‘Tank Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) weighed in at 139 3/4 pounds on Friday at the weigh-in for his title challenge against WBA secondary light-welterweight champion Mario Barrios (26-0,17 KOs) for their fight on Saturday night.
Barrios weighed in successfully at 139 1/2 lbs. Unfortunately, the fans see this fight as a cherry-pick by Tank Davis and his promoters at Mayweather promotions.
(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)
Davis going after his 3rd division title
Tank, 26, is trying to capture his third division world title on Saturday on Showtime PPV at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The action on Showtime kicks off at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT.
Tank has made a lot about going up two weight classes to challenge Barrios for his WBA ‘regular’ light welterweight belt.
It would be a feat if Barrios were considered one of the best fighters at 140, but he’s not. So instead, he’s a belt-holder/paper champion. Barrios won his belt against Batyr Akhmedov, who isn’t considered one of the elite fighters at 140.
The boxing public isn’t excited about the Davis vs. Barrios fight, which could make it interesting to see how few PPV buys this fight generates.
Tank-Barrios isn’t a pay-per-view fight on paper. It’s more of a regular Showtime type of fight or worse, the type of fight that you’d see on regular cable.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe sounded like a used car salesman this week to discuss why Tank Davis is fighting the little-known secondary WBA light welterweight champion Mario Barrios rather than undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, or Jos Ramirez.
Ellerbe claimed that no other promoter would allow their super featherweight to move up to 140 and challenge Mario Barrios for his title.
He’s probably right because there would be nothing for another promoter’s fighter to gain by fighting a secondary champion like Barrios for his belt.
Only Mayweather Promotions thought that it would be a great idea to let Tank challenge Barrios for his WBA strap rather than Josh Taylor for his four belts at 140.
In the co-feature, Erickson Lubin (23-1, 16 KOs) weighed in at 154.5 lbs for his 12 round WBC junior middleweight title eliminator against Jeison Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs). Rosario weighed in that limit at 154.
The winner of this fight will be mandatory for WBC champion Jermell Charlo at 154.
Bradley says Barrios’ uppercut could be a problem
“This is a massive size difference. Barrios is a natural 140-pounder,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthub in breaking down the Tank Davis vs. Mario Barrios fight.
“He also has an uppercut. I think that’s going to be the icing right there. If he can hurt Gervonta Davis, that’s going to be the icing right there, that uppercut,” said Bradley.
Tank has got an even better uppercut than Barrios, and this could be a huge mismatch. If you saw how poor Barrios looked against PBC undercard brawler Ryan Karl, you’d find it hard to see him going past six rounds against Tank.
Karl is just a rudimentary face-first slugger, yet he gave Barrios all kinds of problems in their recent fight.
“Of course it is,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe when asked if Tank Davis’ power carried up with him to 140.
“You hear these clowns say this fight isn’t for this title or that title and all this. I think this is a good a** fight between two young warriors; two undefeated fighters are going to get in there and give the fans an exciting show.
“I didn’t like the fight at first, but okay,” Ellerbe about Tank going up two weight classes to challenge Barrios.
“It’s not that I think there’s anybody that can beat him. It’s a big deal. How many 130-pounders that can do what Tank is doing? Just name me one?
Ellerbe says Tank is a “risk-taker”
“There’s nobody at 130 that can do what Tank is doing in this fight? More importantly, their promoter would allow them to do that.
“There’s not one. They wouldn’t put their 130-pounder in with Mario Barrios. That’s what I love about Tank. Tank is a risk-taker, and he wants all the smoke; regardless of what some of the haters say, he wants all the smoke.
“I don’t worry about that,” said Ellerbe about the boxing fans not giving Tank Davis credit for moving up in weight to take on Barrios.
“We’re going to have over 14,000 fans in the building on Saturday night, and there will be around 100 purists in there [hardcore boxing fans].
“The diehard. What is everyone else coming to see? When I say that, I’m speaking in terms of the people that want to see him [Tank Davis] lose.
“Of course, you have diehard boxing fans in Atlanta. I’m just talking about the people that want to see him lose.
“I guarantee you that the fans that are coming in attendance, they’re coming to see a show. They don’t know the first thing if he’s got one title or forty-nine titles. They don’t care.
“The one thing they do know is he [Gervonta] is the most exciting fighter in the entire sport.
“They do know that because eyes don’t lie. Every time he steps into that ring, he delivers. He gives the fans exactly what they want to see, and that’s knockouts.
“When we were down here with Gamboa. Tank was walking him down, trying to get him out of there.
“Tank was bringing it, and every punch that he threw was with violent intentions. He was trying to get him out of there.
“It wasn’t any of that, ‘I’m coming out in the first round to try and fill him out.’ There was none of that, and it ain’t going to be none of that on Saturday night either. Tank don’t get down like that,” said Ellerbe.
Ellerbe dismisses Josh Taylor as future Tank opponent
“Tank is willing to fight anybody, but it just has to make sense,” said Ellerbe when asked about the possibility of Davis fighting Lomachenko or Ryan Garcia.
“Whoever we decide,” said Ellerbe when asked who at lightweight makes sense for Tank Davis. “He’s [Tank] not campaigning at 140.
“If there’s the right fight there, we’ll take it if it’s something big. Just doing something just to do it, it doesn’t make sense. You got to make something that has implications on something that’s worthy.
“Let me clear this up,” Ellerbe said when asked about the possibility of Josh Taylor facing Tank Davis.
“Josh Taylor just fought for the undisputed junior welterweight championship. One thousand people were in attendance in the United States.
“What does it mean? We’re going to fill up an arena anyway,” said Ellerbe in justifying why Mayweather Promotions won’t allow Tank Davis to fight Josh Taylor.
“All of these guys are good fighters, but you’ve got to be able to bring something to the dance because it does take two to tango.
“You can’t just say, ‘I want to fight the champ. I want to fight the top dog and get paid.’ Guess what? Mario Barrios is making the most he ever made, and that goes for any fighter that he fights.
“That’s what happens when you’re fighting the cash-cow [Tank].
“You got to be able to bring something to the dance other than saying that. In no way am I trying to downplay this guy [Josh Taylor], the undisputed.
“All I’m saying is, there’s a reason why they’re putting him [Taylor] in a small venue with a thousand people there?” said Ellerbe in minimizing Josh Taylor’s importance by saying he can’t draw fans.