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Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios fight preview, prediction, start time, how to watch

Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios fight preview, prediction, start time, how to watch
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gervonta Davis fights against Francisco Fonseca during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This Saturday, reigning WBA Super World Super Featherweight champion and WBA Lightweight champion Gervonta Davis will return to the ring for what will surely be his toughest fight to date when he makes his super lightweight debut against Mario Barrios. Barrios’ WBA World Super Lightweight championship will be on the line.

Davis (24-0) is pound-for-pound one of the most powerful punchers in boxing today, with 23 of his wins coming by knockout. He is coming off arguably his most spectacular KO win to date, defeating Leo Santa Cruz by 6th round knockout in October.

Mario Barrios (26-0) has won nine of his last 10 wins by knockout. He first won the WBA Super Lightweight title in September 2019 when he defeated Batyr Akhmedov by unanimous decision.

His most recent bout saw him successfully defend his WBA belt defeating Ryan Karl by 6th round knockout on the undercard of Davis vs. Santa Cruz.

Keys to victory for Gervonta Davis

While Gervonta Davis will certainly be the betting favorite to win the fight. However, in order to win, he will have to overcome several hurdles.

Standing at 5’5″ with a 67″ reach, Davis is giving up five inches in height and four inches in reach to Barrios. That makes for the tallest and longest fighter Davis has fought in his career. Adding in Barrios’ power, that just adds to the threat that he poses.

What Davis does not have in height, he makes up for with power and quickness. He will need to make Barrios feel his power early by getting inside. This will require him to be at peak condition which has been a problem for him in the past.

In his fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa, a fighter well-known for having a weak chin, it took Davis the full 12 rounds to stop him primarily due to the fact that he got tired as the rounds went on. That cannot happen in his fight against Barrios, or he will make him pay.

How does Mario Barrios pull off the upset?

As previously mentioned, Mario Barrios has the clear size advantage over “Tank” Davis with the power to match it. His best chance is to keep the fight at distance using his jab to put Davis at bay and landing big shots to keep him cautious about pressing forward.

In his fight against Batyr Akhmedov, in which he won the WBA title, Barrios allowed Akhmedov inside often engaging in exchanges with his opponent who is arguably just as powerful as Davis. Had it not been for two knockdowns he scored on Akhmedov, the decision could have easily gone the other way.

Davis has shown to have fight shifting power taking what could have been a close fight and ending it with just one punch. While it’s possible Barrios could get the best of Davis in an exchange, the safe bet would be to keep the fight at distance.

Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios prediction

Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios prediction
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Gervonta Davis reacts to his victory by knockout against Francisco Fonseca during a boxing match at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Both men have a lot to gain going into their bout on Saturday. Should Gervonta Davis win, he will continue to cement himself as a top pound-for-pound fighter while Mario Barrios will put his name among the top fighters of today with a win.

The size and power of Barrios will be a lot to overcome for Davis but it is not impossible. His power and quickness is enough to change the tone of a fight.

The biggest questions going into this fight will be is Barrios able to make Davis work to get in close to him to land big shots and is Davis in good enough shape to potentially chase Barrios for 12-rounds.

This fight is very hard to predict, as there are multiple variables that could see either fighter walk away with the victory. Ultimately, I have Gervonta Davis escaping with a narrow decision win.

Start time/How to watch

  • When: June 26, 2021
  • Start time: 9:00 PM EST
  • How to watch: Showtime PPV