By: Hans Themistode
Gervonta Davis has always exuded a large amount of hubris whenever he walks into a room. That confidence goes through the roof when he enters the ring as he’s knocked out virtually every single one of his opponents.
Even last night, as Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) moved up two weight classes to take on a much bigger man in Mario Barrios, the Baltimore native appeared unconcerned with what the former WBA “Regular” Jr welterweight Jr titlist had to offer. At times, Davis smiled as the punches of Barrios whizzed past his face and hit nothing but air. But while he appeared to be under control and calm under pressure, Davis revealed that he was actually timorous.
“I definitely was nervous the whole night,” said Davis following his win over Barrios to a group of reporters. “I didn’t know if I catch him would I hurt him or if he catch me would he hurt me? He had on 8 ounces (gloves) and I was going up two weight classes. I ain’t wanna get caught so I laid back the whole fight.”
Despite his more cautious approach, the question of whether or not Davis could actually hurt his much bigger opponent was answered in the eighth round. It was an explosive period for Davis as he sent Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) to the deck on two separate occasions. Although he managed to crawl back to his feet, he was ultimately battered for much of the round. In the 11th, Davis sent him back to the deck, this time due to a body shot. Barrios may have beaten the count once again but the contest was stopped soon after as Davis began unloading on his man.
Before the Baltimore product found the fight-ending shots he was looking for, he revealed that there was a moment where his anxiety went through the roof.
After sending Barrios to the canvas in eighth, he not only rose to his feet and dusted himself off but he also fought back in the following round. In one sequence in particular, the San Antonio native uncorked a left hand that pushed Davis into the ropes. Seemingly impressed, Davis nodded his head in approval of the shot. Although that ultimately wasn’t the blow that caught his attention, Davis disclosed the exact sequence that had his mind racing all night.
“No,” said Davis when answering if the left hook in the ninth hurt him. “He hit me in the back of my head that stung a little bit. That’s why I was nervous. He’s 140 so I wasn’t trying to get caught to clean. When he actually caught me I was thinking, was he throwing it soft or is he trying to bait me in? That’s what I was thinking the whole night.”