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Yuriorkis Gamboa Scores Sensational Knock Out Of Rocky Martinez In SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Co-Feature; Ladarius Miller Escapes With Split Decision Victory Over Jezreel Corrales

BALTIMORE – July 27, 2019 – Gervonta Davis returned to Baltimore in empathic fashion, defending his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with a second round technical knockout of mandatory challenger Ricardo Núñez Saturday on SHOWTIME from a sold-out Royal Farms Arena.

Fighting for the first time at home as a world champion, and in the first world title fight in Baltimore in nearly 50 years, Davis again proved why he’s one of boxing’s brightest young stars. After a first round where he peppered Núñez to the body, the youngest reigning America world champion landed a series of brutal left hooks flush to Núñez’s face that sent the challenger stumbling into the ropes in the second. With Núñez (21-3, 19 KOs) leaning against the ropes and unable to defend himself, referee Harvey Dock stepped in to stop the contest at 1:33. VIDEO:

The resounding knockout was Davis’ 21st knockout in 22 professional fights, and perhaps his sweetest. It occurred in front of 14,686 fans in the first hometown title defense for a Baltimore native in 79 years.

“Tonight, we showed out,” Davis said. “It’s amazing to fight in front of my hometown fans, my family. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s not just a win for me, it’s a win for Baltimore. I want to do it again.

“I’m always ready. He wasn’t. He wasn’t alert and I caught it with my third punch. I got him with a body shot. I caught him with a really nice shot. That was it.”

It was the second defense of the WBA belt for the 24-year-old, two-division world champion.

“I had the WBA belt and I had the IBF belt,” said the undefeated Davis. “Tevin Farmer fought tonight. I want Tevin. That’s a fight that can be made. Let’s get it on later this year.”

After the fight, promoter Floyd Mayweather, who called Davis the future of boxing when he first won the title in 2017, lauded his star fighter.

“Tank is an unbelievable fighter,” Mayweather said. “He’s something special. This is a pay-per-view star. He has the charisma and the will to win. He has a big heart and has a great team behind him.”

In the televised co-feature, former two-division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa turned back the clock with a sensational second round knockout of Roman “Rocky” Martinez.

The former Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist displayed the brilliant hand and foot speed that has been the hallmark of his career, and paired it with tremendous combo shots. He came forward from the opening bell, pressing the action against Martinez, who is usually known as the aggressor.

In the opening moments of the second round, Gamboa (30-1, 18 KOs) floored Martinez with a punishing left hook. Martinez got up but Gamoba continued to press forward. The second knockdown of the round was set up by another left hook followed by a powerful right to the face. Stretching his jaw while on the canvas, Martinez (30-3-3, 18 KOs) failed to beat referee Bill Clancy’s 10 count.

“It’s genetics. I have explosive power, I have speed,” said the 37-year-old Gamboa. “Even at this age, I still have it. I put my work in the gym. I prepared well for this fight and it showed tonight.

“When I punched him with my left I knew he was not going to be able to withstand the power of both of my hands. I tried not to suffocate him because I knew he was hurt.

The impressive victory may have earned Gamboa a shot at Gervonta Davis.

“I wanted a victory tonight so I can face Gervonta Davis next,” Gamboa said. “That’s what I want.”

In the opening bout of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, lightweight contender Ladarius Miller narrowly edged former world champion Jezreel Corrales with a split decision scored 96-93 (Corrales), 96-93 (Miller) and 95-94 (Miller).

The 10-round lightweight bout was a difficult affair to score and was mostly fought at a distance. Corrales was the busier fighter from the outset, throwing over 100 more punches than Miller, who didn’t utilize his typically effective body attack and inside game. But while Corrales did more damage at close quarters, Miller was the more accurate fighter, particularly with his power shots that were thrown from a distance.

The defining moment in the fight occurred with just 40 seconds left. With both fighters clinched and grappling to escape, Miller tossed Corrales to the ground. In a puzzling decision, referee Brent Brovell deducted a point from Corrales, who had previously been warned for rabbit punching and low blows. The penalty was costly. Had the incident not have been ruled a penalty, Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs) would have won the round 10-9 on all three judges’ scorecards and escaped with a draw.

“I’m not happy with the decision,” Corrales said. “I don’t think it was fair to give Miller the victory. The fans here in the arena told me I won the fight. I know I won the fight.

“Miller is a good fighter and I don’t want to take away from his hard work, but I was the one coming forward, I was the one attacking. I won that fight. I respect the judges’ scorecards, but I want a rematch. I would like an immediate rematch so I can get the win I deserve.”

For Miller (20-1, 6 KOs), his 11th consecutive victory inched him closer to a world title shot in the lightweight division.

“He came out here and made it an ugly fight, but I got the job done,” Miller said. “I was just trying to go for the knockout. I think that if I would have settled down more it would have been better, but I was really trying to go for the knockout, and it made the fight a lot tougher than me.

“I’ve got to get back in the gym and continue to work on the things that can make me better. He was a veteran, a former world champion.”

In streaming action on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN, undefeated welterweight and Baltimore native Malik Hawkins (16-0, 9 KOs) defeated Jonathan Steele (9-5-1, 6 KOs) via eight-round unanimous decision scored (78-74, 79-73 twice). Dylan Price (9-0, 6 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact with an eight-round unanimous decision (78-74, 79-73 twice) over Samuel Gutierrez (16-24-6, 6 KOs). And in the opening bout of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN, super lightweight Kareem Martin (13-2-1, 4 KOs) defeated Luis Avila (8-14-3, 5 KOs) via TKO after referee Harvey Dock stopped the bout at the end of the third round.

Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.


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Former World Champions Yuriorkis Gamboa & Roman Martínez Square-Off; Plus, Lightweight Contender Ladarius Miller Battles Former World Champion Jezreel Corrales in an Event Presented by Premier Boxing Champions

BALTIMORE (July 2, 2019) – Former world champions Yuriorkis Gamboa and Roman “Rocky” Martínez will battle in a 10-round lightweight attraction while lightweight contender Ladarius “Memphis” Miller meets former world champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in a 10-round showdown live on SHOWTIME Saturday, July 27 from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by two-time super featherweight champion and Baltimore native Gervonta “Tank” Davis defending his WBA title in a championship homecoming against mandatory challenger Ricardo “Científico” Núñez.

“Saturday, July 27 is going to be something special for the city of Baltimore,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “While we know what the main event brings, both bouts leading up to it have high stakes written all over them as well. Any time you put former world champions and young hungry prospects in the ring, you know these fighters will be looking to get the win and ultimately put themselves in position for a shot at a title. I’m anticipating non-stop action in these bouts from the first bell to the end.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions in association with GTD Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.

A former titleholder at 126 and 130 pounds, Gamboa (29-2, 17 KOs) has won his last three fights, including a decision over former world champion Jason Sosa. His last time out, he dropped and defeated Miguel Beltran Jr. by unanimous decision. An Olympic gold medalist for his native Cuba, Gamboa fights out of Miami and will look to get another world title shot with a victory on July 27.

“I’m in a great position in my career and I’m very happy to be back on this big stage again,” said Gamboa. “Rocky Martinez is a very tough and formidable opponent and we will make this a great fight for the fans. I know that I will make it past this challenge and on to more marquee opportunities. I’m looking at facing Gervonta Davis and becoming world champion again.”

Always in exciting and memorable fights, Martinez (30-3-3, 18 KOs) returned to the ring in March by knocking out William Gonzalez. Fighting out of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Martinez is a three-time 130-pound champion who has faced elite fighters such as Mikey Garcia and Vasiliy Lomachenko throughout a career that has also seen him defeat the likes of Orlando Salido and Diego Magdaleno.

“I’m happy for this opportunity and to have this chance to be near a world title fight again,” said Martinez. “I’m training to win against a good fighter in Yuriorkis Gamboa. It’s a fight that will define my future and I am fully prepared to become world champion again, and this time in another weight division.”

The 25-year-old Miller (19-1, 6 KOs) has won 10 fights in a row, including a victory over current world champion Jamel Herring, as he looks to earn a world title fight. Originally from Memphis and now living in Las Vegas, Miller began 2019 with a first-round knockout over Daulis Prescott in February and now has his sights set on earning a world title fight.

“I’m coming to make a statement on July 27,” said Miller. “That’s the mindset I’ve been training for. I’m facing a former world champion and a win can solidify my name in the 135-pound division. I’ve been working hard and I know that Corrales won’t bring anything that I’m not prepared for. I’m excited to have this opportunity, take advantage of it and get one step closer to a world championship.”

Representing his native Panamá, Corrales (23-2, 9 KOs) won a 130-pound world title by knocking out Takashi Uchiyama in Japan in 2016, before defeating him by decision in the rematch. The 27-year-old returned to the ring in April to knock out Onalvi Sierra in two rounds.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity and grateful that I have another chance to fight at the highest level,” said Corrales. “Miller is a very skillful boxer and I respect his abilities. I’m going to test him and see if he can fight off of his back foot. I’m going to prepare so that I have all the tools to get the victory on July 27.”


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Two-Time Super Featherweight World Champion Davis Joined by Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young Wednesday Ahead of Baltimore Homecoming Against Mandatory Challenger Ricardo Núñez Saturday, July 27 Live on SHOWTIME® from Royal Farms Arena

BALTIMORE, MD. (June 20, 2019) – Baltimore-native and two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta “Tank’ Davis greeted fans in his hometown Wednesday at an open to the public press conference at the Mondawmin Mall as he previewed his upcoming title defense against Ricardo Núñez Saturday, July 27 live on SHOWTIME from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.

Davis, who was joined at Wednesday’s event by Baltimore MayorBernard C. “Jack” Young, returns to defend his title in front of a hometown crowd and will be the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in nearly 80 years. Davis will be making the second defense of his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship.


   Photo Credit- Rosie Cohe/SHOWTIME

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from the Mondawmin Mall Center Court in Baltimore:


“I want to thank the whole city of Baltimore for backing me. Not just for this fight, but I believe that Baltimore’s been backing me for a long time. I used to come up to this mall a lot, and just to have a press conference here means a lot to me.

“I’m coming home to fight in front of my people. Everyone showed out in Brooklyn when I fought for my first world title, and they did it again the second time I won a title there. So I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a huge sold out event.

“I can’t wait to put on a great show for everybody in my city. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I have and I’m going to take full advantage of it.

“I definitely feel like a role model whether I like it or not. I’m the main one that made it out of the gym, other than the people I came up with. The people I came up with are dead. They all got killed. The two people that I look up to in the gym, just got killed like two weeks ago. It’s overwhelming, but then again I’m strong and I hold my own and I’m staying strong.

“I never thought of me actually fighting in Baltimore city, fighting in a big arena like this. I’ve always watched it on TV, people coming back to their home town to fight. I’m the type of person that I always adapt to the place I’m in at the moment.

“I’m training every day. Twice a day. Even on Saturdays and Sundays. I’m working out trying to stay sharp. You have to work harder. There are so many people that are coming for you, I’ve always had that mindset that you’re going to have to kill me to beat me. I beat a lot of people mentally first and I’ve always been that type of person since I was young.

“I know that my opponent only lost twice and he’s got good power. I actually watched him running and sparing the other day too. He has good power and speed. Hopefully we will put on a great show July 27.

“I remember when Aquille Carr use to play basketball here they called him the ‘Crimestopper’ because it was like they shut down the whole city to watch him. You can call me the ‘Crimestopper’ July 27 because everyone’s going to be there.”


“I’m very excited for this championship fight next month, both as the Mayor of this city and as a fan of the sweet science. This is huge for this city and for a generation of people who will be able experience this type of event in their hometown.

“I want to thank Gervonta and Leonard Ellerbe and their team for making this dream a reality. Gervonta will be the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in almost 80 years and that is incredible for this city. Our great city has produced eight world champions and I’m excited that their legacy lives on with Gervonta.

“Make sure you get those tickets because it’s going to be a sell out and you don’t want to be left out. Come out and support our own world champion July 27 at Royal Farms Arena.”

CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer

“Everyone knows I’m a very emotional coach, and I just want to say, Baltimore let’s put on a show. The world has a chance to look at this city. We have had great champions here and we’re not finished. There’s a lot coming behind Gervonta Davis. He’s opening up the door for everyone to do their thing.

“On July 27, let’s show the world that we can put on a world class show. Everyone come out and support this man. We have so much raw talent in this city it’s unreal. I’m witnessing it. I love you Baltimore, we’re going to show the world how we do it here.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“Mayweather Promotions is excited to bring this event to an iconic city. We’re thrilled to bring you Baltimore’s own two-time world champion, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. He’s fought overseas, he’s fought opponent’s in their hometowns, and the results have all been the same. Win after win. That’s all he knows how to do.

“Now it’s time for Gervonta to come back home and bring you a very exciting fight on July 27. He’ll be defending his super featherweight title on a great night of boxing. Gervonta has quickly become one of the biggest rising stars in the entire sport and we’re proud that he’s a part of Mayweather Promotions.

“I promise you that Gervonta Davis will eventually become the biggest star in the entire sport. You want to get your tickets now if you haven’t got them, because it’s going to be a sold out, star-studded event. This is a must-see fight.”

STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

“Together, SHOWTIME and Mayweather Promotions have done the biggest events that sports have ever seen. From Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Mayweather vs. McGregor, and now we have a new project in this young man, Gervonta Davis.

“I remember I first heard Gervonta’s name in 2014. Floyd Mayweather called me during his fight week and he asked me, ‘how many times have I ever called you about a fighter?’ I said ‘none’, and he told me to remember the name Gervonta Davis. I’m proud to be standing here today, five years later, and bringing ‘Tank’ home to Baltimore.

“This is SHOWTIME’s first event ever in the city of Baltimore. As your Mayor has noted, Baltimore has a great history in boxing, going back to the very first African American world champion in the sport. There’s a lot of boxing history in Baltimore here, but not a lot lately. That is about to change.

“Gervonta is America’s youngest world champion and one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He’ll be appearing on SHOWTIME for the seventh time. The first six times have delivered six knockouts, and that’s why we love Gervonta Davis. It’s going to be a historic and exciting night in Baltimore on July 27.”


Two-Time Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis Makes Baltimore Homecoming to Defend Title Against Mandatory Challenger Ricardo Núñez

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Two-Time Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis Makes Baltimore Homecoming to Defend Title Against Mandatory Challenger Ricardo Núñez Saturday, July 27 Live on SHOWTIME® from Royal Farms Arena

WBA Super Featherweight Titlist Davis is First World Champion from Baltimore to Make Hometown Defense in Nearly 80 Years

Tickets on Sale Tomorrow, Friday, June 7 at 12 p.m. ET!

BALTIMORE (June 6, 2019) – Two-time super featherweight champion and Baltimore-native Gervonta “Tank” Davis will defend his WBA title in a championship homecoming against mandatory challenger Ricardo “Cientifíco” Núñez Saturday, July 27 live on SHOWTIME from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature the youngest reigning American world champion in Davis, as he becomes the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in nearly 80 years.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale tomorrow, Friday, June 7 at 12 p.m. ET and can be purchased at or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.

“Bringing a show to Baltimore for Gervonta to perform on a stage in front of his hometown fans has been a long-time ask from him and I’m glad it’s coming to fruition,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “The timing that his homecoming is taking place couldn’t be better with him having elevated his career to being the most exciting fighter in the sport and ready to give his hometown fans a treat this summer. July 27 at Royal Farms Arena will be something special for the city of Baltimore.”

“At just 24 years old, Gervonta Davis is already one of the biggest stars in boxing, and his drawing power continues to grow with each performance,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “He has scored knockouts in each of his five consecutive appearances on SHOWTIME while thrilling fans with his theatrics in and out of the ring. For his next test, Gervonta is facing an opponent with a similarly impressive knockout ratio in Ricardo Núñez. We expect fireworks for as long as this fight lasts.”

Davis (21-0, 20 KOs) became the youngest reigning American world champion in 2017 when he delivered a star-making performance on SHOWTIME by knocking out Jose Pedraza for the IBF 130-pound title at just 22 years old. Now, he makes his return to his hometown to fight for the first time as a world champion.

The 24-year-old became the youngest two-time world champion in April 2018 when he knocked out Jesus Andres Cuellar in the third round of their WBA Super Featherweight Championship bout. Most recently he knocked out former world champion Hugo Ruiz in the first round of his first SHOWTIME main event in February. Davis, who owns knockouts in all five of his world championship fights, is the first Baltimore native to defend in his hometown since Harry Jeffra defended the featherweight world title in 1940.

“It was always a goal of mine to bring a world title fight back to my city of Baltimore,” said Davis, who has not fought in Baltimore since his fourth pro fight. “I’m excited and grateful to my team for helping make this happen on Saturday, July 27. Tickets will go fast, so don’t wait on buying them! I can’t wait to put on a great show and to see all my supporters in Baltimore help me make it a night to remember at Royal Farms Arena.”

The hard-hitting Panamanian Núñez (21-2, 19 KOs) will be making his U.S. debut on July 27 as he seeks to take advantage of his first world title opportunity. The 25-year-old is on a 10-fight winning streak in which he has scored nine knockout victories. After his opponent was forced to withdraw from a scheduled March 2 bout on SHOWTIME, Núñez scored a first-round knockout of Eduardo Pacheco in April to make it three consecutive knockouts heading into this championship bout.

“My daughter is about to be born and with her in mind I am working very hard for this fight,” said Núñez. “I am dedicating this fight to my daughter and Panama, which has always supported me. I’m thankful for this opportunity and although some people don’t know much about me, after July 27, everyone will know me as the new champion of the world.”

Official Weights & Photos For Tomorrow Night’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Event – Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz

Click Here For A Replay Of The Weigh-In

Photo Credits- Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

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Super Featherweight Champion Davis Joined by Promoter Floyd Mayweather Ahead of Title Defense Against Former Champion Ruiz This Saturday Live on SHOWTIME®

From Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and Presented By Premier Boxing Champions

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Photo Credits-Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

LOS ANGELES (February 7, 2019) – WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they go toe-to-toe this Saturday night in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, Calif. and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Also facing off on Thursday were fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna will step in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere as part of live SHOWTIME action kicking off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing and tickets are sale now and can be purchased at

Davis was joined on-stage by his promoter, legendary boxer and Mayweather Promotions President Floyd Mayweather. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday at the Westin Los Angeles Airport before Saturday night’s event:





“I’m so excited to come back strong in 2019. This is the year that could put me over the top and put me at the highest level.

“The opponent change didn’t really affect me. In the amateurs we fought four or five times a week so we always had different opponents. I had been sparring someone taller than me in training camp anyway. I think a fighter should be ready and able to adapt to anything that is in front of him in the ring. I’m ready and I hope Ruiz is too.

“Training camp has been great. I’m ready for Saturday night. We planned on fighting Abner Mares, but he had an injury and we hope to still get him down the line if everything is okay with his health.

“Hugo Ruiz is a great opponent. He’s going to come to fight on Saturday night. He’s been telling the media he’s going to knock me out, so I hope we get an action packed fight for the fans. I’m glad Ruiz is coming for the knockout. We owe it to the fans and I’m praying that he comes ready to give them a great show.

“I feel like I’m the fighter that can be the next big star. I’m working towards it. I’m just a kid soaking it all in right now. Saturday night, I hope everyone is ready, because it’s going to be action.

“Ruiz’s record speaks for itself. I’ve watched him and he has some pop. He’s accurate and I’m ready for it. I don’t think I’ll have any ring rust. I’ve worked with a lot of great fighters in the gym. I’m just excited to get back in the ring.

“I want to give my fans all over the world a great show. Everyone tuning in is going to see a great performance. Hopefully Hugo will live up to his word, because I’m going to live up to mine.”



“I’m very happy to have this opportunity. I’m going to leave everything in the ring. I have a lot of faith in my boxing skills. I trust and believe that there is going to be a new world champion on Saturday night.

“I’m in rhythm and in shape. I’ve been very active leading into and since my last fight. Davis is a tremendous champion, but he doesn’t intimidate me. I’ll be ready for him come Saturday night.

“This is a great opportunity to fight a southpaw, as I had originally been training for a lefty before my opponent changed in my last fight. I also fought a southpaw in November. I’ve been training with a lot of lefties for a while. I’m more than ready for this opportunity.

“Davis is a strong champion and I know this is a big opportunity for me to fight someone of his caliber. I’m ready mentally and physically for the greatest opportunity that has been given to me.

“At 130-pounds I feel more power than ever and I will demonstrate that on Saturday night. This is a big challenge for me. This is the opportunity that I’ve been waiting for throughout my 12-year career. I don’t plan on wasting it.”







“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited for it. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a great show for the boxing fans.

“I’m ready and I’m prepared to take full advantage of this chance to make a statement on Saturday night. I want any one of the champions in this division, but I’m not looking past Zamora. I just know that the work that I put in will pay off.

“I have big things on the horizon and Zamora is in my way. I’m focused and ready to make this a great night. If he wants a war, I’ll give him a war.”


“I’m very happy and thankful to be in this fight. This is the opportunity I’ve been looking for. I’m ready to compete and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by.

“This is definitely a big step for me in my U.S. debut. If I can get a win over Mario Barrios, then I would be able to reach a lot of dreams that I have.

“I come well prepared and I’m expecting a war. I’m going to be ready to go and battle until the end. You’ll see that I’m going to leave it all in the ring.”





“I’m going to give the best that I have in the ring. I’m going against a good boxer with a good record, but it doesn’t matter what obstacles are in front of me. I’m going to come through with a big win on Saturday night.

“We have a new team and a new trainer that is going to give the fans the best Javier Fortuna possible on Saturday.

“A victory against Sharif Bogere is very important for me and a stepping stone to where I want to get. It’s going to be a difficult fight, but I’m ready to make this a very tough night for him.”


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“We are going to make this a great fight on Saturday. Fortuna is a good fighter and tough guy. I expect him to bring a lot of fireworks. I’m prepared for it and I have the game plan to win.

“Every day is a tough test in life. This is going to be just another fight. I’m prepared and I have a great team behind me. I’m coming on Saturday night for what belongs to me.

“Fortuna has a big name and is a step up for me. This win will put me up there toward the top and I’ll be prepared for whatever challenge comes after that.”

FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions


“It’s great to be here with so many young talented fighters. I could remember 23 years ago when I was in that same position. When you’re in this position you have to take advantage of it. Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime. You must go out there and give it your all.

“I want to see these fighters become great and become stars. The records that I’ve set were made to be broken.

“I remember when Gervonta Davis first came to my gym. He worked hard and believed in himself. Sometimes we did two-a-days. If we didn’t think the job was done right, we’d come back and correct it. We continue to strive every day to be the best we possibly can be. Gervonta works extremely hard, but he can’t take anything for granted in this fight.

“I think Hugo Ruiz is more dangerous opponent than Abner Mares. Abner is a tremendous fighter, but Ruiz is very tough and he has good knockout power. This is a great matchup and the kind that people want to see. It’s all about putting on great shows and Saturday will be another blockbuster.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“We have a great event this Saturday night with great fights from top to bottom of this card. This is going to be a great night of boxing.

“Gervonta Davis has reached goals beyond just the boxing ring. I know the impact that Gervonta has on the youth all around the world. When it comes to excitement, explosiveness and knockout power, this is something new that the fans are getting a chance to witness.

“At the young age of 24, fans have come to know Gervonta for his punching power. But he’s also a very skilled boxer. This is one of the things that he’ll be able to showcase moving forward in a number of big fights he’s going to have.

“We know he has a tough challenge in front of him. Anytime you have a last minute replacement who’s an excellent fighter, it’s a big challenge. Ruiz is an aggressive fighter and we expect nothing but a great fight.

“Gervonta Davis has the full arsenal. In my opinion, he’s the most exciting fighter and the biggest puncher in the entire sport. It takes more than knockout power and I think you’ll see an array of his skillset.”

SAMPSON LEWKOWICZ, President of Sampson Boxing

“It really is an honor for me to be involved in this great show. These are going to be three great fights. Hugo Ruiz had been training for a southpaw before an opponent switch led to him fighting a right hander last fight. After a few more weeks leading into this fight, Ruiz is 100 percent ready for this challenge.

“Trust me, this is going to be a rough fight. I believe that Davis will have his hands full with Hugo Ruiz. Ruiz comes from a family of fighters and he is a true Mexican warrior who will leave it all in the ring on Saturday.”




  Photos Credits- Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

WBA Super Featherweight Champion Davis Defends Title This Saturday Against Former World Champion Ruiz Live on SHOWTIME® From Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and Presented By Premier Boxing Champions

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (February 6, 2019) – WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz were on-hand at Churchill Boxing Club in Santa Monica Wednesday as they near their showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Saturday, February 9 from Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly StubHub Center, in Carson, California.

Wednesday’s workout also featured fighters who will enter the ring live on SHOWTIME in televised undercard attractions. Undefeated super lightweight Mario Barrios will be facing Mexico’s Richard Zamora, while former world champion Javier Fortuna steps in against lightweight contender Sharif Bogere in the opening bout of the tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday in Santa Monica as they prepare for their Saturday night attractions:



“I was just watching Hugo Ruiz as I came in here. All I know is that he is fast, he has some speed. It looked like he has some power and good timing. I actually think that this is not a walk in the park, like people think. The fact that this is a late change doesn’t concern me because once I get in there, I’ll be able to make adjustments. I’m ready.

“It’s great to make it to this level. To have people under me like ‘Truck’ [Lorenzo Simpson], it feels amazing to inspire them to go further in life. It makes me want to push harder so that I can become the best that I can be.

“I come from a city with a lot of violence and things like that, but my mind was always focused on what I wanted to be in life. I traveled when I was super young, so my mindset was never like a typical eight-year-old. I won my first nationals when I was 10 years old. I’ve seen the world and I’ve seen the bigger picture. At that time, coming up in the gym, there were guys that I was looking up to that were getting killed in the streets. There were days in the gym where we would get a call that guys we trained with had been killed. I knew that it’s either boxing or things wouldn’t turn out too good. I knew I had to stay in the gym and stay focused.

“Camp is going great. I feel ready for Saturday night. I’m disappointed that I’m not facing Abner Mares but it doesn’t change too much. I heard that he hurt his elbow at first, I didn’t know that it was his eye. Once I heard it was his eye, I took it more seriously.

“I wanted to fight Abner. We could probably have done it back home but I gave him the chance to fight in LA. I am the champion, so I’m willing to give him another shot.”



“I feel great. I just came off of training for my last fight but I just feel like I’m continuing that training. I think it’s going to serve as great preparation for this next fight. It’s only going to be a benefit for me.

“I think this is going to be an explosive fight. We’re both known for our knockouts and this is a fight that can end at any moment. It’s going to be by a knockout.

“Out of my 39 wins, 33 of them are knockouts so I can say with confidence that I can knock out Gervonta Davis. No fighter is invincible and that’s a really possible outcome on Saturday.

“Gervonta Davis is a great fighter. I’ve watched him fight and I know that he’s a very strong fighter with a lot in his arsenal. There’s a reason why he’s a world champion right now but we know what we’re looking for. We have the hunger and the ambition to be triumphant. We have everything we need to beat Gervonta.

“I took the fight on short notice and I just fought, but I am ready. I trained very hard for my last fight and I still feel more than ready to go. I’m very excited to have this world championship opportunity and I am going to take advantage of it and show the world what I can do.

“I had a fight in November where I was training for a lefty. I then had another fight in January where I was preparing for a lefty. They changed my opponent last minute but I was still ready to go. I’ve been preparing for a lefty for five months and I think that’s a huge advantage for me.

“The reason I have so many knockouts is because I like to surprise my opponents and I really think I have something that I can surprise Gervonta with. Come Saturday, we will see how many ways I can surprise him.

“Gervonta is a fighter just like I am. We both are going in there with all the will to win and come Saturday I think we are going to give the people the show that they really want to see. I am ready to put on a spectacular show.”


Mario_Barrios_03“I feel great. I’ve been training out in the Bay Area with Virgil Hunter since the beginning of December. I was getting great work, sparring with Devin Haney. We got about two or three weeks of great work just going at it. That was tremendous experience just keeping up with him. He’s a very explosive fighter and ahead of the curve for his age. I finished off camp sparring with Amir Khan, who is getting ready for his Terrence Crawford fight. So overall, camp was great.

“This is going to be one of my toughest fights but I put in all the hard work in camp and I’m going into Saturday night with no doubts. If I get him hurt, I’m going to look to finish him off but the knockout is not something I’ll be looking for right away in the fight.

“I’m thinking about the weather a little bit, but at the end of the day I’m a fighter and I’m going to overcome anything I have to in the ring. Whether it’s raining, whether it’s cold, once the bell rings it doesn’t matter what the weather is.

“I always try to go into my fights being as smart as possible. I always want to box as much as I can but at the end of the day, I’m Mexican so if I get caught with a good punch I’m going to want to sit there and bang. I’m definitely expecting some fireworks. It’s going to be an action-packed fight and I guarantee you one of us is going to go down. I’ve worked my ass off to make sure I’m not going to be the one on the canvas.

“Sparring top guys like Devin Haney and Amir Khan has been great and a huge advantage for me. People would pay top dollar to see that, but all of us were just there appreciating the work because we all need it. That was world class work. You really can’t beat it.

“Texas has always been a hotbed for boxing, especially in the cities of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Now, we have a lot of upcoming fighters that are really showing out. It’s only a matter of time before Texas becomes one of the main capitals for boxing.

“In the next 18 months, I’ll hopefully get a shot at a world title. I want to face any one of the champions right now. I feel I’m ready. I’ve worked my ass off to get to this point and I feel it’s only a matter of time before we get that title shot. Right now, my sight is set on the junior welterweight division and we’re going to try to take over the division as much as I can. But at the same time, I’m 6’1″ and it’s only a matter of time before I outgrow the division but as long as I’m here and I can make the weight healthy and I feel strong, we’re going to continue to dominate.”



“This is my first time in Los Angeles and I’m really excited to fight in a place like LA. This is a really well-known place to fight that I’ve known about my whole life and I’m ready to put on a showcase that people will recognize. I want people to see me as a great fighter from here on out.

“I’ve been very focused this entire training camp. My opponent changed late but my objective has not changed whatsoever. Whoever I face on Saturday, I’m ready to fight.

“I’m only 25 years old. Some would say I got a late start because I only started training and boxing when I was 15 or 16 years old but it’s always been in my blood. My grandfather was a boxer and I always knew the sport was going to be my calling at the end of the day.

“We look forward to showing off this weekend. I’m ready to show the people of the United States who I am. I want to stand out and showcase what I’m all about. I’ve shown what I can do in Mexico and now I want everybody in the U.S. to show who I am in America now. To be surrounded by so many talented fighters here, this is the type of fighter I want to be. I want to be recognized the same way the other top fighters around here are.

“I think that Barrios’ height is something that I need to think about but I’m not worried about it. I’ve learned how to fight against different styles and I’ve fought many different fighters so I am ready for whatever comes my way. I just want to put on a great show so the fans will only have good things to say about me.”



“I feel good. We are in weight and in great shape. On Saturday, I will be the best fighter I can be. My new trainer and I are in top shape. We had a really good training camp. This fight is important for me. On Saturday my career at 135 will be defined.

“I have been working very hard in the gym. I have a great strategy and the fans will see on Saturday night what I’m all about. Bogere is aggressive, he comes forward and is a very good boxer but I’m not concerned. I move forward and I’m aggressive too. I can take him.

“Hopefully, that chicken Gervonta Davis will go up to 135. If not, I’m willing to come down to 130 to fight him. I want his belt. I respect his promoters, they know how to take care of him and I have no problem with that but I’m just hoping that he’s willing to fight me. He has shown a lack of respect as a human being. He hasn’t done what a champion should do and he’s fighting guys he shouldn’t be fighting.

“What do I think of Gervonta’s new opponent? Everybody has social media and can see what the fans are saying about it.

“My fight against [Robert] Easter is hard to swallow. It was one of those fights where you go in there, you work hard, you show you are the better fighter but the judges don’t reward you for it. I know I was the better fighter. I won that fight. A lot of people saw it the same way but sometimes the judges go for the business side of things. I was hoping for a rematch but nobody ever gave me the opportunity.

“I want to fight the best fighters out there. I don’t care who they are. If they have a title, I’ll fight them. If they are good, I’ll fight them as well.”



“Javier Fortuna is a veteran. We have similar experience. He’s been there for a long time but so have I. I think we’re going to put a on a good show for the people. He makes mistakes and I’m going to capitalize on those.

“This is a dream for me. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years since I was a little kid. I have a passion for this sport and a lot of people to make proud. Those people keep me going through all of the tough times, the injuries, the setbacks, I’m just so thankful that I have another day and another blessing. I’m so thankful for this opportunity.

“I’m happy to have an opponent finally step up to the plate. I feel people have been avoiding me but he stepped up and I think we’re going to put on a great show. We both have an exciting style and I’m looking forward to Saturday. In his fight against Robert Easter Jr., I think he did his best to win the fight but he came up short.

“As my trainer always tells me, keep knocking on the door. One day, they’re going to open the door. Saturday, they will open the door. After Saturday night, the world is going to see the ‘The Lion’ back in the top ten in the world.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“This is a guy [Ruiz] that just fought on the Broner card. He’s in great shape, he’s a great fighter and he’s coming to put on a performance on Saturday night. ‘Tank’ is in great shape but he’s got to be cognizant of a guy that he hasn’t prepared for. We’ve seen what has happened in other fights, specifically the [Jermall] Charlo fight. [Matvey] Korobov came in as a last-minute replacement and it was a tough fight. Certainly tougher than he had anticipated but that’s part of the sport. ‘Tank’ has to be ready for anything.

“Gervonta has a tough opponent in front of him Saturday night. Any time you are preparing for a specific guy, it’s going to take a minute to get used to your new opponent. It will be interesting. ‘Tank’ will have to figure it out but I think he will be able to go to work and figure it out.

“I’m always confident in ‘Tank’. He’s one of the top fighters out there in the sport. He’s the biggest puncher in the entire sport and he’ll eventually be the biggest star in the sport. This is the start of a very big career for all of his U.S. fans and the international fans as well. He’s ready to take over the entire sport and Saturday night is just the start.

“Anytime you lose a great fighter like Abner Mares from your card, obviously there is always a little bit of a shakeup. My prayers go out to him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery. Abner is a great champion, a great human being and a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He will be able to hopefully bounce back.”



Press Release       For Immediate Release




WHAT: SHOWTIME Sports will present live streaming coverage of fight week events in advance of this Saturday’s Super Featherweight World Championship between undefeated WBA champion Gervonta Davis and former world champion Hugo Ruiz live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Each event will stream live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page. YouTube embed codes and links are listed below.

In Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® main event, Baltimore’s Davis, who has 19 KOs in 20 professional fights, will make his first defense of the WBA title against Mexico’s Ruiz, an all-action brawler with 18 first round knockouts on his resume. In the co-feature, undefeated 140-pound contender Mario Barrios will take on Richard Zamora in a 10-round super lightweight bout. The telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with a 10-round lightweight bout between former world champion Javier Fortuna and former world title challenger Sharif Bogere.

SHOWTIME will present live streaming undercard action and pre-fight analysis on social media platforms beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT this Saturday. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN will feature a 10-round super lightweight matchup between former world title challenger Erickson Lubin and former world champion Ishe Smith, as well as a 10-round super lightweight bout between Juan Heraldez and Eddie Ramirez.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT
Final Press Conference – The Westin Los Angeles Airport
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page:

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8 – 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT
Official Weigh-In – The Westin Los Angeles Airport
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page:

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 – 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN – Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Event Page:



Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz International Media Conference Call Transcript and Audio Recording

Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz International Media Conference Call Transcript and Audio Recording

Click HERE for Audio

Kelly Swanson
Thank you everybody for joining this call. I’d like to kick the call off and commend Premier Boxing Champions, Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and the network for saving this really special card that’s going to take place Saturday, February 9.

Everybody’s aware of the unfortunate injury to Abner Mares, who was going to fight Gervonta Davis, but fortunately a great replacement was found in Hugo Ruiz. Now I’m going to turn it over to Stephen Espinoza to make opening comments.

Stephen Espinoza
Thanks very much. By now all of you are aware of the substitution. I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that Abner was heartbroken at this development about the injury.

The Davis fight was a fight that Abner asked for, that he pursued and is a fight that’s in his backyard. It was well on its way to breaking the attendance record and it remains to be seen whether that will happen or not but certainly had the cards stayed together it almost certainly would have broken the attendance record based on the trajectory of ticket sales.

At this point the priority was in fact saving this card. We’ve got a whole host of various fighters who’ve been training very hard for this. They all want to remain active. Davis wants to remain active so it was a priority to save this card and to find the best possible, available opponent.

There were a number of options pursued, a number of calls went out to a variety of different fighters. Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to find someone who was willing to take on Gervonta Davis on ten days’ notice. Thankfully we did get Hugo Ruiz interested and he immediately accepted after he understood the situation.

Hugo Ruiz obviously was on our January 19 PPV on the Pacquiao vs. Broner undercard at 126-pounds. He will be moving up in weight further and I realize that there has been some concern about that. But the one thing that gave us comfort in approving this opponent was the physical size. Hugo Ruiz has a significant height advantage and reach advantage over Gervonta Davis.

Yes, this will be his first fight above 126 but his body frame gave us some confidence that he would be able to be competitive in this fight. In fact, with his reach advantage and height advantage he presents some problems to Davis that Abner did not. So we’re looking forward to a very competitive fight.

We know Hugo is here. He was disappointed that he did not get the title shot that he expected to on the Pacquiao undercard. And in a certain way there’s karma is repaying him in that he gets a title shot here on February 9.

K. Swanson
Thank you so much Stephen. Now I’m going to introduce Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make a brief comment of just about the card in general. Leonard?

Leonard Ellerbe
Thank you Kelly. I’d like to thank everyone for joining today’s call. As Stephen mentioned with Hugo Ruiz being a last-minute replacement, his reach and height advantage, that does create somewhat of a problem obviously because anytime as a fighter when there’s a last-minute replacement you haven’t trained and prepared for this particular fighter.

So Davis is going to have to obviously make some immediate adjustments for those things with the height and reach advantage that Hugo brings. Again Hugo is a proud Mexican warrior and we expect a very, very entertaining and exciting fight for the fans.

K. Swanson
Okay thanks so much Leonard. At this time I’d like to introduce Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions to make the introductions for Hugo Ruiz. Tom?

Tom Brown
Well thank you Kelly. I want to say thank you to Sampson Boxing who is the promoter of Hugo Ruiz. Sampson’s always got these guys that we’ve never heard of and they step up and they’re household names a few years later.

It’s also great to be here at the former StubHub Center, the premier outdoor boxing venue of the United States at Dignity Health Sports Park. And three out of the last six Ring Magazine and BWAA Fights of the Year have all been at the Dignity Health Sports Park. And let me tell you they weren’t all Fight-of-the-Year candidates going into the fight.

I know Hugo Ruiz very well. He fought two absolute wars for me back in 2015 and 2016 for the WBC title against Julio Ceja. And a couple weeks ago, as Stephen said, he didn’t blink an eye when there was a last-minute opponent change.

Ruiz is a more experienced guy and experience matters. That’s what he’ll need to rely on in this fight. So it gives me great pleasure to introduce the former world champion, Hugo Ruiz.

Hugo Ruiz
Well first of all good afternoon to everybody, this is Hugo Ruiz and I’m very happy with my promoter Sampson Lewkowicz to get this fight. Sampson told me keep yourself ready, there might be something coming down the pipe and that’s how I got this fight to fight for the 130-pound championship. I’m very happy, training hard.

I also want to thank my father who’s going to be in my corner. So this is a big opportunity for me for this fight that’s taking place on February 9 and I cannot wait for the February 9 date.

Have you had time to sort of process what these last two weeks have gone for you?

Hugo Ruiz
Basically I was preparing to fight a southpaw before my opponent was changed on the PPV bout. So I had that change and I’ve been basically still training for a southpaw in the last two weeks. I’ve been feeling very strong and very active. And that last fight was basically, it was more like a training then a real tough fight, so I’m ready. I’m rested and I’m good to go.

Aside from your size what else do you think you have that makes you think you can beat Gervonta Davis on February 9?

H. Ruiz
I’m very hungry. I want to of course be a champion at 130. Those are the other attributes that I have besides what you stated. The height advantage that I have I feel very comfortable at 130. Sampson has taken me to be a champion at 118, 122. I’m close to 126 but also this is a big challenge for me I understand that, but besides the height, it’s the hunger that I have to be champion at 130.

If you fought on January 19 what day did you get back to the gym after that fight?

H. Ruiz
I was back training that Tuesday after the fight, I was back in the gym.

How familiar are you with Davis?

H. Ruiz
I’ve seen him fight of course a few times and I know he’s a counterpuncher. He looks for the knockout just like me. So this could be very electric starting early because as you well know I’m also a guy that looks for the knockout from the first round immediately. So that’s what I’ve seen and it should be exciting.

Are worried at all that Davis might have the natural advantage in strength and size?

H. Ruiz
No not really. I feel very comfortable at this weight. If I was 126, if I was planning for 126 this Saturday coming up, the 9th of February, I wouldn’t have made it because I’m already going to make 130. That’s how strong I feel at this weight so that does not pose a problem for me against Gervonta Davis.

Why did you go back so quickly to the gym after your last fight?

H. Ruiz
I usually take maximum five days off a week after a fight but with this fight with Guevara there was really not that much physical abuse from my part. I didn’t receive that many hard hits. So I started training right away.

My promoter Sampson told me, “Hey stay active there might be something coming up the pipe.” And that’s what happened. So I’m glad that I started that Tuesday after the fight.

If the fight on the Pacquiao undercard would’ve been a little more taxing this wouldn’t have been possible for you?

H. Ruiz
That’s correct, if the fight would’ve been more physical draining if it would’ve been a toe-to-toe battle where I would’ve received a lot of punches and stuff then maybe I would’ve not taken this fight. But I continued my training leading up to the fight with Guevara and I just continued it because again, I felt physically well after the fight. There were no major damages.

How much of a factor do you feel maybe rust will be for Davis?

H. Ruiz
Yes, definitely I think that rust might show. I’ve been very active. I fought in August, November and just a couple of weeks ago. You lose a lot of rhythm when you don’t fight for a while so that might definitely be an advantage that I have going into this fight.

Can you use your boxing style that you currently have to defeat Davis or do you feel you need to adopt another style and how quickly can you adopt that style?

H. Ruiz
No my style will definitely not change. That’s been my style. I didn’t think this fight would come so soon but I definitely was looking at being champion at 130. This is a great opportunity that’s been given to me to fight this upcoming week. My style will not change. I will look toward the knockout against Gervonta Davis. If you’ve seen my 39 wins, 33 have come via the knockout. So I’m going to maintain my style, that’s the way I fight.

K. Swanson
Thank you so much Hugo for joining us for that part of the call.
Now we’re going to turn it back over to Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions to make the formal introduction for Gervonta Davis and his trainer Calvin Ford.

L. Ellerbe
Thank you Kelly. This next gentleman, he’s really more than a coach. His call of duty, it really goes far beyond the ring. And because of his actions, he really gained and earned respect from many different people including myself, in addition to all the young kids that are out there, all the teens and a lot of fighters that he mentors.

He’s really helped people through the streets of Baltimore. He’s done a phenomenal job in playing a vital role in Gervonta’s entire career. He sets a really positive example for all the youth that are in that particular area. There’s not enough accolades to go around to say about Calvin. So without further ado I’d like to introduce Calvin Ford, trainer of Gervonta Davis.

Calvin Ford
Training camp has been going great. We’ve made a transition here to Los Angeles. Everything is going fine and whatnot. We were looking forward to fighting Abner Mares. Just looking forward for that, but this happens in a fight. I hope he gets better so we actually get another chance at him but right now we’re just concerned about this new opponent we have in front of us.

I think he a little bit stronger and I know from watching some of his, he’s going to come to put on a good show for this upcoming fight with Gervonta Davis.

L. Ellerbe
He became the youngest reigning American champion in 2017 obviously fighting on SHOWTIME after knocking out Jose Pedraza at just 22-years-old. He became also the youngest two-time world champion last April when he knocked out Jesus Cuellar in round three.

So without further ado, he’s earned the reputation in sports and entertainment as being the next PPV star, the WBA Super Featherweight Champion of the World, Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

Gervonta Davis
I just want to say I’m excited for February 9. I’m looking forward to my new opponent. Sorry to the fans who purchased tickets thinking that I was fighting Abner. My main focus was fighting Abner.

February 9 I’m just trying to give them an action-packed fight no matter who I fight. I’ll put on a great performance for the fans so they can enjoy the fight and go home with something to talk about.

What was your mindset when you first heard that Abner got injured?

G. Davis
I was actually asleep when I got a call that Abner pulled out. At first I thought he was lying but then I had to think, if I was in his shoes I knew his health means more than our fight. Hopefully he will be okay and we’ll get another shot at fighting him sometime in 2019 but my main focus is on February 9 and on my new opponent.

Why do you truly believe that Ruiz is a stronger opponent than Abner?

G. Davis
I believe that he’s stronger because look at his knockout ratio. He’s 39 and 4 with 33 knockouts. That had to play a big part. And I didn’t even know he was coming up from 126. I didn’t know that. I just knew that they gave me a new opponent. I didn’t know who he was, I’m just excited for February 9.

How relieved are you knowing that everything you have set out for 2019 is going to stay on course?

G. Davis
I’m actually in a better space knowing that I. I never had dates lined up like this with me being the main event. I have my dates and I’m just super excited. This camp I really haven’t been down, so I’ve been happy knowing that I have a big future and three big fights lined up for me. I’m just excited. I’m just soaking it all in, making sure I’m training hard so every fight I bring excitement to the sport. I’m just, I’m in a great space right now.

What do you think is the main difference between Hugo Ruiz and Abner Mares stylistically if there is any?

G. Davis
I believe that Hugo, he’s more aggressive than Abner. I think he has more pop on his punches. I just watched a little clip of him. I haven’t studied him like that. I just watched a little a clip once I knew who I was fighting just to be aware of what I have in front of me.

Did you actually get a chance to watch Hugo at all when you were there at his last fight?

G. Davis
I was doing a SHOWTIME interview right after. So my main focus was the SHOWTIME interview so I didn’t watch his fight.

Gervonta have you heard the criticisms that you replaced one guy moving up in weight for another guy moving up in weight? How would you respond to that?

G. Davis
My mind was focused on Abner. Not to throw any other fighter under the bus but, Vasyl Lomachenko, he fought someone that was two weight classes under him and not only one time, he fought another person that was smaller than him, Rigondeaux and Miguel Marriaga.

But I’m just excited to put on a great show no matter who I’m in there with. It’s all about the performance that Gervonta Davis puts on and I’m here to put on a great performance.

Leonard was it in your mind and belief that we will absolutely salvage this show and find somebody for Gervonta Davis?

L. Ellerbe
Most definitely. That was definitely the mindset. Obviously he’s a prideful champion. He’s been off for, it’ll be ten months when he steps in the ring and he needed to fight. So Hugo was the best available guy that we could find. He’s in shape. He’s ready. He’s a proud Mexican warrior. He’s going to put on a very entertaining fight for all the fans in attendance and all the fans that are watching on SHOWTIME.

Have there been any changes in preparation or training camp by the time you guys found out about the new opponent, or since it was too close to fight day have you guys been pretty much sticking to the same routine?

C. Ford
No we’ve been sticking to the same routine. We didn’t change anything. Actually Gervonta has various different sparring partners in there because I’m still a student of the game too and I always say you never know when a fighter is going to change their stuff. If you look at when Gennady Golovkin fought Danny Jacobs, he went southpaw. So you have to prepare yourself for anything that’s going to happen that night. So we look at different looks and just like you prepare for anything else. Most coaches and trainers want to prepare for any situation that’s going to come so you’ll be prepared for it.

G. Davis
This camp I actually sparred different type of guys. I sparred someone that’s come after me. He was much taller with a longer reach, so I thank him for the work and things like that because now I needed it. I’m excited. Nothing other than training. We’ll adapt to whatever was in front of us, so. I’m just excited to see what he brings February 9.

Is there a lot more excitement for this fight considering that it’s been a long time since you last fought?

G. Davis
I’m just excited. This is my first main event in the US, so like I said I’m in a great space right now. I know that 2019 is very big for me and I’m just soaking it all in. I don’t feel like I should be nervous though when you have good food on your plate. I’m just, I’m ready.

How will you take advantage of the taller fighter with the longer reach, how do you plan to take advantage of this guy?

C. Ford
We’re not going to try to take advantage, we’re just going to see, what type of fight he’s going to bring. Tank, he’s in a good spirit. He’s been great this camp. He’s been coming in doing what we asking him to do. If you look at his Instagram he’s been posting how he’s coming along. Everything has been on point.

So when we look at a situation of opponent change, we want to roll with it. The main thing is, we want to put on a good performance, because at the end of the day that’s what you all are going to talk about especially after the long layoff.

So we’ve been preparing for the long layoff. We want to make him look sharper and like he never was off the ring. That’s going to show that he’s not looking past this opponent right here, but to let everyone know, man he’s the truth and that’s what we trying to show. Tank is the truth. Gervonta is the truth.

What do you consider a good performance?

C. Ford
Like I always say if you watch any of my interviews it’s what the opponent brings to Tank because you all still haven’t seen the best of Tank. Watching him sparring with certain people and doing certain thing, it gets real exciting there. So I’m just waiting to see what Tank does.

Tank is like Michael Jordan to me in the ring. He puts on a show and makes you watch what he going to do next. So that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking for a great performance from him.

G. Davis
For me it’s just getting in there to do what I do best. I want to just capitalize off of that mistake and make them pay for it all night, that’s all. Show them that I’m not just best in my weight class, I’m probably like one of the best fighters on TV, if not the best.

Leonard what assurances did you get from each other that that everything was going to go smooth this year?

L. Ellerbe
It’s actions. He knows firsthand that in 2018 a lot of things happened and a lot of things people don’t know about and that those were personal things. Again he’s a young man. He made a few mistakes and he stepped up. He owned those mistakes and he’s moved on.

He wants to have a phenomenal year and everything’s in place for him to do that. We think the world of Gervonta Davis. We think that he’s going to eventually be the biggest star in this sport and right now he’s the most exciting fighter in the entire sport.

So that’s what we’re looking forward to, him just getting back. That’s why Floyd was very adamant to me when Abner fell out. He called me it was, like really the wee hours of the morning and he said, “Tank has to fight.” And we’re all on the same page with that.

He’s young, he needs to be active. He wants to be out there showcasing his skills to show you that he is what he is. And again come next Saturday night I think we can expect another sensational performance from Tank.

Leonard was Ruiz on that short list immediately or did you initially reach out to other fighters who ultimately declined?

L. Ellerbe
Yes, there was a short list but I want to give props to Tom Brown. With Tom being a Hall of Fame matchmaker and an excellent promoter, and again with having the resources and having worked with a lot of these fighters, being in his position, it made things that much easier.

So there were a few options, a few guys we looked at but this was the best guy who was available. We know style-wise that he brings excitement. He’s a very aggressive fighter with a bunch of knockouts. And he’s coming to bring the fight for the fans. He’s a proud Mexican warrior and we know there’s going to be a very entertaining fight. His style and Tank’s style are matched very well and it’s going to be a very, very entertaining fight.

Gervonta how are you maintaining your focus with the opponent change?

G. Davis
I’m not tripping off of changing opponents and things like that because when I actually first started, they used to change my opponents a lot. A lot of fighters used to pull out and things like that. And also I came from the amateurs. We used to fight five times a week and with different opponents then.

So I’m not really tripping off the opponent change. All I’m here to do is put on a good performance on February 9 and we’re looking forward to it.

K. Swanson
Okay great. Gervonta we’re all looking forward to it and we appreciate how great of a boxing star you are for this sport and the sports world in general. So congratulations on your careers to date and we look forward to seeing you fight on Saturday night. Thank you so much to the media for joining us and we will see you next week at the fights.


Three-Division, Four-Time World Champion Abner Mares Sustains Injury; Forced To Withdraw From Match Against WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis

Three-Division, Four-Time World Champion Abner Mares Sustains Injury; Forced To Withdraw From Match Against WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Gervonta Davis.

Davis Now Set To Take on Former World Champion Hugo Ruiz in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Main Event Saturday, February 9 at Dignity Health Sports Park In Carson, California live on SHOWTIME®

LOS ANGELES (January 30, 2019) -Three-division, four-time champion Abner Mares has been forced to pull out of the WBA Super Featherweight title match against two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis on Saturday, February 9 after suffering an injury while training.

Davis will now defend against former world champion Hugo Ruiz in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, with coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Ruiz is an all-action brawler who previously picked up a world title at super bantamweight in 2015 and most recently defeated Alberto Guevara in January on the Pacquiao vs. Broner PPV event in a featherweight fight. Ruiz, who owns 18 first round knockouts, floored Guevara in the opening minute and cruised to a near-shutout decision victory.

He had originally been slotted for an interim title shot against Jhack Tepora in January before Tepora missed weight, but will now have his chance to fight for a belt against one of the most-feared punchers at 130-pounds on February 9. The 30-year-old from Sinaloa, Mexico stands at five feet, nine inches tall, nearly four inches taller than Davis, and has won three straight fights leading up to this fight.

“I trained for three months to fight a southpaw when I fought in January,” said Ruiz. “When the opponent changed, it was hard to adjust in 24 hours. After the fight I immediately went back to the gym, because you never know what’s going to happen in boxing. I’m 100 percent ready to knockout Gervonta Davis.”

“Hugo Ruiz has another opportunity to fight for a world title because he’s demonstrated that he’s devoted to boxing and his career,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, Ruiz’s Promoter. “He went right back to the gym after his last fight. He’s ready for another great opportunity to be a world champion and he’s going to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Mares injured his right elbow during sparring at the Robert Garcia Boxing Gym in Riverside, Calif. Mares said he had experienced soreness in his elbow following the past two fights, but nothing that had ever given him nor his team concern.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat this. I’m disappointed and devastated that I’ve injured my right elbow in sparring,” Mares said. “This is something that I haven’t had happen to me during my career and the feeling is just horrible. I will be going to see my doctor about this and am prepared to follow whatever recommendations and rehab that gets me back into the ring. I’m healthy, not afraid of doing the work and I will be back. This is a temporary setback. Don’t count me out.”

“Boxing is a sport of brains, passion and physical punishment,” said Mares’ trainer Robert Garcia. “When you’re in the ring sparring with talented, top-class sparring partners, the chances of injuries are very high. That was the situation in this case. He was sparring top young fighters and he injured his elbow. He cannot fight like that, especially in a fight against Davis.”

Mares, who has engaged in numerous memorable fights throughout his storied career, was seeking to move up in weight and looking to capture his fifth world title in a fourth weight class.