Gervonta Davis is regarded as one of the most heavy-handed fighters in boxing, but WBA ‘Regular’ 140lbs champion Mario Barrios believes he is just as dangerous a proposition ahead of their clash at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on June 26.

Baltimore banger Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) is stepping up in poundage to attempt to win a championship belt in a third weight division, but will run into physical disadvantages with Barrios a natural 140-pounder with a 5 ½ inch height advantage. A deceptive puncher, Barrios has also halted eight of his last nine opponents since stepping up in class.

With celebrated trainer Virgil Hunter in his corner, Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) is far from a pushover and the Texan feels he is ready to pull off an upset victory. Betfred currently lists Barrios as an 11/4 outsider with ‘Tank’ Davis a 2/7 favourite, and the draw available at 22-1.

“This is a huge opportunity for me,” said Barrios. “Gervonta Davis has a huge name in the sport and outside of it. This is the type of fight that can accelerate both of our names after June 26. I think Gervonta and his team might have bit off more than they could chew with this fight. I’m not one to talk too much, but we’ll see how it plays out when we step into the ring on June 26.

“’Tank’ is going to be in there with a full blown 140-pounder. He’s not going against someone past their prime or going up in weight. I’m a guy who goes out and gets stoppages. He’s facing someone just as dangerous as he is, but two weight classes higher than what he’s used to seeing. 

“We know Gervonta is a dangerous fighter. We know the threat that we have in front of us. But I’m just as dangerous, if not more dangerous. I’ve been dangerous at 140 pounds for quite some time now. 

“I have speed, power and explosiveness, just like Gervonta. But I have the length and physical stature to present problems that he’s never faced before. I know that I have power that carries from round one through round 12. He’s not used to being at this weight and we’re going to see how he handles that move up. 

“I’m confident because I have a great team behind me. I’ve had a tremendous training camp. I go into every fight with confidence in my preparation. Just like every fight, I’m more than prepared for fight night. This is going to be fireworks from the opening bell. We have everything we need to make this the ‘Fight of the Year’. 

“This is the moment that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. It just goes to show that everything I’ve been working for my whole life is now unfolding in front of me. This is just the beginning and I’m ready to seize this opportunity.”

Main image: Esther Lin/Showtime.