Gervonta’s Win Was Itself A Novelty: A Title Bout Of Undefeateds

Davis won an old-school high-stakes bout at a time when boxing was trying to figure out whether the recent wave of novelty fights would boost or hurt it.

Gervonta and Mario Barrios, both superlightweights, were fighting in Atlanta. Davis won the match after it was stopped in round 11.

Gervonta and Mario Barrios are fighting in Atlanta’s superlightweight title bout. Davis won the fight when it was stopped in round 11. Credit to Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Morgan Campbell

After Saturday’s 10th round, Gervonta Davis, the superlightweight champion against Mario Barrios, was in a tense state. Calvin Ford, his trainer, didn’t offer any advice.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was Davis’s mentor and promoter. He had made his way to State Farm Arena in Atlanta to cheer on Davis, who is the most successful boxer and the biggest draw in his stable. Davis, 26, nicknamed Tank, had climbed two classes to challenge Barrios in the World Boxing Association title fight, but struggled to find his rhythm against a bigger opponent.

Davis was trailing Barrios when he was unofficially ruled the judge of the pay-per view broadcast. With the urgency of a promoter worried that his top fighter would be upset, Mayweather relayed this information to his protégé.

Mayweather shouted, “You’re a dawg.” You’re a winner. “I’m behind your efforts.”

Davis’s refusal to recommend tactics to Mayweather suggests that the fighter had skills and a strategy. He used them midway through the 11th Round, dropping Barrios with an explosive left uppercut to his rib cage. Barrios was able to get up and walk again, but Davis shocked him with an overhand left. This caused Thomas Taylor, the referee to stop the fight.

Davis won the technical knockout title, which gave him the world title in a third-weight class. He is a Baltimore native who won his first title at 130 lbs in 2017. He still competes in this class. A W.B.A. Superlightweight fights at 140

The referee’s intervention was a great climax to the type of fight boxing critics claim doesn’t occur enough often: two undefeated fighters in their primes taking on mutual risk in a high stakes, high-action bout. Barrios, 26 years old, stood taller than Davis, who was 5’10”. Barrios, 26, entered the fight 26-0 with 17 knockouts. However, he had never faced Davis.

Davis last competed in October 2020 in the 130-pound superfeatherweight category. The fight ended in a knockout victory over Leo Santa Cruz from Mexico. However, it was not clear if Davis had the ability to shock bigger fighters such as Barrios.

Davis, now 25-0 and with 24 knockouts, said that he had to catch Davis. It was difficult to get to him. When I finally got to him, the job was done.

Davis scored a major knockout at an important point in his career. There are a number of promising young fighters at 140 and 135 pounds that offer exciting possibilities for fights. Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Josh Taylor, both lightweights, hold titles and are undefeated.

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