Pick It: TBRB #9 at 140 Mario Barrios vs. TBRB #2 at 130 Gervonta Davis (Saturday, Showtime PPV, 9:00 PM EST)
26-year old Jr. lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis (24-0, 23 KO) hasn’t had any issue delivering power so far. Will it carry up the scale? We find out Saturday as Davis jumps two divisions to test the waters at Jr. welterweight against 26-year old Mario Barrios. Barrios is considerably taller and has a chance to break through in a big way.
Ignore the secondary title on the line; this is a battle of top ten battlers both with something to prove and lose. It’s a fight no one was really asking for that could be a pleasant surprise. It’s co-feature is good as well, pitting former unified titlist Jeison Rosario against failed title challenger Erickson Lubin with a potential shot at the winner of Jermell Charlo-Brian Castano in the balance. Few divisions have delivered like Jr. middleweight has the last half decade. This is the latest chapter in that story and gives two high quality bouts for those who purchase the show.
Additional Shows to Watch For
Friday - #8 Harris vs. Sandoval (ESPN+, 2:00 PM EST)
World class flyweight action highlights this afternoon offering. 30-year old Jay Harris (18-1, 9 KO) gave a nice account in a losing bid against WBC titlist Julio Cesar Martinez last year. A win on Friday keeps him in the hunt for another title chance, perhaps even against fellow UK product Sunny Edwards. 22-year old Californian Ricardo Sandoval (18-1, 13 KO) would like to step into serious contention at Harris’s expense. Can Sandoval get it done on the road? Don’t be surprised if this ends up as the sleeper hit of the weekend.
Friday - Hernandez vs. Juarez (Estrella, 10:00 PM EST)
More Friday flyweight action provides the nightcap. 22-year old Cristian Hernandez (12-1, 3 KO) has only a single split decision loss and aims to make it seven straight here. 30-year old Saul Juarez (25-13-2, 13 KO) has seen it all at the lowest weights but enters with four straight losses. Can the older man hang on and reverse his course, if even for a night?
Saturday - #1 Martinez vs. Cordova (DAZN, 7:00 PM EST)
26-year old WBC flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1, 13 KO) is a thriller with the sort of style that makes him a must-see for as long as he holds together. His snake bitten showdown with McWilliams Arroyo still needs resurrection but for now he will defend against 26-year old Joel Cordova (12-4-2, 3 KO). Don’t blink but do catch the undercard bout at lightweight between Daniel Matellon and former strawweight titlist Jose Argumedo. It could be the show stealer.
Saturday - #1 Lomachenko vs. #9 Nakatani (ESPN+, 7:15 PM EST)
Sometimes losing can open a lot of doors. 32-year old Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KO) gave then-future lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez some real work on the way to the title and earned a return to US airwaves. He made the most of it, coming off the floor to knock out Felix Verdejo and now Nakatani is here. 33-year old Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) makes his first start since the loss to Lopez last year. If he wants any hope of a second crack at Lopez, Lomachenko must win here. The same is true for Nakatani. This is an excellent non-title clash.
Sunday - Morrell vs. Cazares (Fox, 8:00 PM EST)
23-year old super middleweight David Morrell (4-0, 3 KO) is being moved quickly as a pro and gets main event treatment on national TV here. Mario Cazares (12-0, 5 KO) is coming off a win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last fall. Morrell will be a different test. Is Cazares up to the challenge? Undercard action kicks off on FS1 at 6:00 PM EST.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at email@example.com