Gervonta Davis’ move up to the 140-pound division is official.
Premier Boxing Champions and Showtime announced Thursday that the undefeated Davis will meet Mario Barrios in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event June 26 at a site to be determined. The four-fight show also will include an intriguing 12-round, 154-pound bout between former IBF/IBO/WBA champ Jeison Rosario and Erickson Lubin.
The 26-year-old Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) will jump up two weight classes in an attempt to become a three-division champion. The 25-year-old Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) holds the WBA’s secondary title in the 140-pound division.
Josh Taylor is widely viewed as the WBA’s legitimate champion in that weight class. Scotland’s Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) is scheduled to face Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) on May 22 in Las Vegas for Taylor’s IBF and WBA belts, as well as Ramirez’s WBC and WBO championships.
Nevertheless, the Barrios bout is a risky proposition for Davis. San Antonio’s Barrios stands 5-feet-10, five inches taller than Davis, and has competed in the 140-pound division for the past four years.
Davis, a powerful southpaw from Baltimore, will make his debut in Barrios’ weight class. He easily beat Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa in his only noteworthy fight at the lightweight limit of 135 pounds – a 12-round, unanimous-decision win in December 2019 at State Farm Arena – but Davis mostly has competed at or near the junior lightweight maximum of 130 pounds in his eight years as a pro.
Davis viciously knocked out Leo Santa Cruz with a left uppercut in the sixth round of his most recent appearance, a 130-pound championship match October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio. Davis won the WBA “super” 130-pound championship from Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) in that Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
Barrios beat Houston’s Ryan Karl (18-3, 12 KOs) by sixth-round knockout on the Davis-Santa Cruz undercard.
In the co-feature before Davis-Barrios, Rosario and Lubin will engage in a high-stakes fight that’ll help keep the winner in position for another 154-pound title shot.
The Dominican Republic’s Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) lost the IBF and WBA titles to Jermell Charlo in his last fight. Houston’s Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs), also the WBC champion, knocked out Rosario with a body shot in the eighth round of that September 26 bout at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Lubin, a southpaw from Orlando, Florida, has won five straight bouts since Charlo knocked him out with one punch in their fight for Charlo’s WBC super welterweight title in October 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In his most recent action, Lubin (23-1, 16 KOs) defeated Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha (22-2-1, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 12-rounder September 19 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.