Gervonta Davis KO's Mario Barrios
Gervonta “Tank” Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) one of the biggest stars in all of boxing, put on a career-defining performance Saturday night live on SHOWTIME PPV from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, scoring an 11th round TKO over the previously-undefeated Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) to capture the WBA Super Lightweight title.
“I knew for sure if I catch him, I’m crackin,” Davis told SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray. “So I caught him, and it showed. My coach was telling me to go to a jab style but I’m a southpaw so they know I’m going to that jab side. So I would try and bait him in. I faked like I was going left, and I threw my right. And my hook over top, and that’s where I caught him.”
“I knew he was hurt. I just had to catch him at the right time,” Davis continued. “Floyd [Mayweather] came to me and was honest and said I was down,” continued Davis, who was actually ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage. “So he said ‘Show me that you’re great.’ And you know how we do it in the doghouse, baby!”
“He has the potential to be one of the greatest ever,” said Mayweather. “When I first met ‘Tank’ when he was 14 or 15 years old, I told him I’d make him a world champion. And that you’ll be one of the best someday. I’m proud of him.”
“I’ve never been a hater. Congrats to ‘Tank’,” said Barrios. “He came here and did his thing. It was nothing short of an exciting fight and that’s exactly what both of us predicted. He was the better man tonight, but I’ll definitely be back.
“’Tank’ is explosive. He caught me slipping and it’s boxing. At the end of the day, one punch can change the fight. That’s exactly what I felt happened. Congrats to him.”
In a back-and-forth co-main event, Orlando’s Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (23-1, 17 KOs) overcame some adversity to score the most important victory of his career over former unified world champion Jeison Rosario (20-3-1, 14 KOs). The WBC No. 1-ranked contender at 154 pounds, Lubin scored a sixth-round KO (1:42) in the WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator
Dominican Republic’s Carlos Adames (20-1, 16 KOs) rose to the occasion, scoring a highlight-reel third-round knockout over the streaking Alexis Salazar (23-4, 9 KOs) in the second fight of the pay-per-view.
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast, the hard-hitting Batyr Akhmedov (9-1, 8 KOs) scored a TKO victory over former world champion Argenis Mendez (25-7-3, 12 KOs) in a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight Title Eliminator. Mendez suffered a right hand injury and did not get off his stool to come out for the ninth round. The official time of the stoppage was 3:00 of round number eight