Last week, the news broke that Gervonta Davis would opt for a move up in weight to take on WBA “Regular’ champion Mario Barrios, instead of a lightweight super-fight with rival Ryan Garcia. Since that came to light, old back-and-forth social media spats between Davis and unified champion Josh Taylor propped up, as well as this, Regis Prograis has also had his fair share of fun jibing at the 130lbs champion. Davis will obviously want to test the waters at this new weight, but the name still has to be of some importance, which is why Barrios with his WBA ‘Regular’ trinket makes perfect sense. However, it begs the question – can Davis be a force at 140lbs?
First, I’ll start with dissecting the potential of Davis-Barrios, because on paper it seems like a great matchup. Both hold undefeated records, with a decent KO%, they have those highlight reel KOs and both have passed their acid tests with flying colours. Barrios really impressed me with his points decision over Batyr Akhmedov to win the WBA strap, I thought the fast start was excellent and served him well, and when the time came to dig deep in the final few rounds he was able to do so.
Davis is coming off the best win of his career, sensationally knocking out Leo Santa Cruz in six rounds, but that was against a smaller man, at a lower weight so the move up in weight will be interesting. It might allow Davis to ease off the gas a little when it comes to weight making, but the best asset he holds is in question – will his power carry up to 140lbs? I’m a big fan of the lightweight quartet (Lopez, Haney, Davis and Garcia) and I really think they all have that something special in their own unique way to give us some fantastic fights. I think Davis hasn’t made a mistake by taking on Barrios, it’s probably one of the smartest decisions he could’ve made, apart from the obvious Ryan Garcia fight. I think that power carries up to 140lbs and Davis will acquire another pointless title with relative ease.
Now we come onto the potential of Davis against the elite fighters of the 140lbs division. I’m here to tell you that any consideration that Davis beats either Josh Taylor or Regis Prograis requires you to have your head checked. You often hear about these fights with the superstars of the sport – simply wanting to see them fall. Canelo against Beterbiev is a great example, where size simply would overcome the Mexican star, but appears to be the only competition out there for him. Davis against Taylor or Prograis is similar to that. He belongs at lightweight, where there are huge fights for him. I hope that this is just a flirt at 140lbs, at least for now, because those guys are too big, too strong and they would maul the shit out of Davis, in my completely unprofessional opinion.
Give me Davis against either Haney, Lopez or Garcia any day, but I’m not interested in Davis plotting a takeover at 140lbs, just yet.