American Gervonta Davis became a three-weight world champion on Saturday night, blasting through his countryman Mario Barrios to claim the WBA (Regular) super lightweight championship.
Prior to his 11th-round stoppage victory, though, Davis received some strong words of advice from his promoter Floyd Mayweather.
The 26-year-old Davis moved up two weight classes, from super featherweight to lightweight, to challenge Barrios in Atlanta. Entering the bout having won each of his previous 24 fights (with all but one by knockout) 'Tank' was a strong favourite to win the contest.
For the first few rounds of the fight, however, Barrios hadn't read the script. More than holding his own with Davis during the early exchanges, the underdog caused a stir when he landed a clever right hand to the face of Mayweather Promotions' biggest star. Naturally the smaller man, Davis struggled slightly to find his range against Barrios in the opening half of the bout.
Gradually, though, Davis began to find answers to the pressure of Barrios. The tide already looked to be turning in Davis' favour when he unleashed a big right hook to send his opponent down to the mat in the eighth round. Although he made it back to his feet, Barrios would soon find himself back on the canvas again, this time courtesy of a straight left hand.
The beleaguered champion managed to survive the round, but things weren't looking great. A 10-7 round for Davis seemingly putting him in control of the fight.
To his credit, Barrios showed great heart to battle back in the ninth. With that said, Davis still appeared to have the situation very much in hand.
After such a slow start, though, his promoter Mayweather was far from happy. The 44-year-old legend made his way into the corner of his client before round 10 to inform Davis that he was losing the fight on the unofficial scorecards of host broadcaster Showtime.
"I need you to win 10,11 and 12. On the unofficial [scorecards], you are down," insisted Mayweather to his protege. Davis didn't like the news, but Floyd continued to push the point home.
"I gotta be honest with you. That's what you want from me? You don't want nobody lying to you," reasoned Mayweather.
The exchange makes for interesting viewing and can be seen above...
Davis may not have agreed with the unofficial totals, but he certainly responded to them. Landing a barrage of lefts in the 10th round, he went out intent on making a statement. Just one round later, Davis got the job done, finishing Barrios with a brutal left hook to claim yet another world title.
Say what you will about Mayweather, but his passion for the sport of boxing (and the success of his fighters) is tough to deny. Without the honesty of Mayweather, last night could have turned out a lot differently for Davis.News Now - Sport News