By: Hans Themistode
In just a few short days, Gervonta Davis will have the opportunity to become a three-division world champion. The Baltimore native is set to take on WBA “Regular” super lightweight champion Mario Barrios at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia this Saturday night.
But while the entire Davis vs. Barrios promotion has emphasized the authenticity of their championship bout, Josh Taylor simply shakes his head incredulously.
“Mickey Mouse title,” said Taylor on his Twitter account. “There’s only one at lightweight!”
Taylor, 30, has grown annoyed with the mere mention that Davis is fighting for a legitimate world title. Just last month, the Scottish native became the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds when he took on former unified titlist, Jose Ramirez.
After dropping Ramirez in the sixth and seventh rounds, Taylor held on for a close unanimous decision victory. Considering that he now has all four major world titles sitting on his mantle at home, Taylor believes that no one outside of himself should be acknowledged as a world champion. With that said, the proliferation of world titles in the sport of boxing has allowed multiple world champions within the same sanctioning body.
Despite Taylor’s claims, Davis will still look to add to his championship status. Originally, the move up in weight for Davis came as a surprise. In his most recent ring appearance, Davis took on Leo Santa Cruz at 130 pounds. Although he would go on to win, Davis mentioned that he would campaign at both 130 and 135 pounds but failed to mention a trip to 140. Still, the hard-hitting two-division champion will try his luck against the much bigger man in Barrios this Saturday night.
As for the aforementioned Barrios, despite walking into their showdown with a five-inch height and four-inch reach advantage, for the first time in his career, he’ll be the underdog. The 26-year-old San Antonio native began his title reign after winning a hard fought back and forth battle against Batyr Akhmedov in 2019. Barrios has since defended his title against fringe contender Ryan Karl, stopping him in the sixth round in October of 2020.