GERVONTA DAVIS did the business on his super-lightweight debut, stopping the previously unbeaten Mario Barrios in the 11th round of an entertaining encounter in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rangy Texan Barrios used his height and reach advantages to good effect in the first half of the bout by outjabbing Davis, but the stocky Marylander was always dangerous with his fast and explosive power punches.
With the fight in the balance after the opening six rounds, a strong second-half showing from Davis saw him surge to victory in scintillating style.
In round eight, Davis sent his fellow 26-year-old to the canvas twice in quick succession. An arcing right hand floored Barrios in the corner, before a booming left hook decked him by the ropes soon after.
Barrios kept plugging away until Davis conclusively terminated proceedings in the 11th. A sickening left uppercut to the solar plexus forced Barrios to drop down to all fours, with the San Antonio man bravely making it back to his feet. This only delayed the inevitable, however, as a further attack from Davis compelled the referee to step in and call the contest off at 2-13.
At the time of the stoppage, Baltimore’s Davis was ahead on all three scorecards by marks of 97-91 and 96-92 twice.
“It was tough getting to him because he was tall and had a longer reach than me,” the undefeated southpaw said at the post-fight press conference. “But when I got to him, that’s when I got the job done.”