Unbeaten Gervonta Davis was supposed to face former two-division world champion Abner Mares on Saturday, but he’ll be facing late replacement Hugo Ruiz instead. Either way, the WBA super featherweight championship will go on, though the luster has all but vanished.
At Friday’s official weigh-in, both Davis and Ruiz made weight. However, Davis initially was over by .2 pounds and had to use extra time to get down to super featherweight limit. With both fighters clearing the final and most crucial hurdle, the two can lock horns for Davis’s WBA 130-pound world championship. Showtime will televise the action inside the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, which goes live on the network at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT).
Ruiz (39-4, 33 KOs) has won three straight bouts since losing the WBC super bantamweight title to Hozumi Hasegawa in Sept. 2016. The powerful Mexican knocked out Jesus Galicia betwixt two decision victories over Dennis Contreras and, most recently, Alberto Guervara last month. “Cuatito” stepped in to face Davis on less than a week’s notice when Mares was pulled from the card due to a detached retina.
Davis, meanwhile, is one of boxing’s brightest young talents with a surge of hype underneath him. “Tank” has knocked out all but one opponent he’s faced in the pros and has scooped up two world titles at super featherweight. He knocked out Jose Pedraza to capture the IBF version two years ago but was later stripped for failing to make weight. Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) then captured the WBA version by stopping Jesus Cuellar last April and expects to retain his belt tomorrow night.
Ruiz was the first to step to the scale and he nailed it; he came in officially at 129.5 pounds. Baltimore native Davis came overweight as he tipped the scale at 130.2 pounds. He was given two hours to get down to 130 pounds and did just that as he weighed in at 129.8 pounds on his second attempt.
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