Davis vs. Barrios: Media Workout!
(June 23rd) Four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios took part in a media workout to kick off fight week at the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday ahead of this Saturday’s blockbuster SHOWTIME PPV® event.
Tickets for the live event at State Farm Arena, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions, go on sale tomorrow, Friday, May 21 at 10 a.m. ET, and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
Here is what Davis, Barrios and the rest of the fighters in attendance had to say :
“I’m excited to be in this position to be able to give the fans what they want to see, which is an exciting fight. Atlanta showed me love the last time I came, so why not come back?
“This is one of my toughest fights on paper. I’ll be ready and hopefully he’ll be ready, and we’ll give the fans what they want to see.
“Las Vegas is definitely a boxing town. My team is there at Mayweather Promotions and I brought my personal team out there as well. We’re all a family. We train together, get along, and help each other.
“There is no pressure on me, I am just going out there to do my job. It’s just another day at the job for me. Hopefully he’s ready because I’m definitely ready and we can give the fans what they want to see, which is a knockout.
“[Barrios] is a young champion. I’m going up two weight classes to face him. If they don’t give me the respect after this, I don’t know what I have to do. It’s pretty cool. This is actually the first time I’m fighting at this weight class. Whatever opportunities they give me at 135, or 140, I’ll take them.”
“This is all brand new, but I’m taking it all in and excited to be in Atlanta. I’m just excited to go out there on Saturday and give everybody a great fight.
“No doubt about it, Tank is by far the toughest test for another title defense and I’m going to do whatever it takes to be successful on Saturday. There’s going to be fireworks on Saturday.
“This is a huge opportunity and I’m very excited for this chance. This is a very winnable fight for me, regardless of what everyone has been saying. I’m just excited to be back in the ring and in Atlanta.
“I think it’s not going to be until we both get in the ring that people realize how much size I really have for 140 pounds. Somehow, he’s still the favorite although he’s the challenger in this fight. I just take that as more motivation for me.
“Height-wise, reach. Those are the major advantages. I’m just as dangerous as he is. And just as explosive and just as fast. And I will show that on fight night.
“When they came to me, I said let’s do it but I was like, ‘I’m not going down to 135,’ and they said, ‘Nah, he’s going to come up.’ And I said, ‘Even better.’
“I’ve seen him fight plenty of times. He’s a great fighter and he’s been very successful at the lower weight divisions against the smaller opponents. But this is a different fight for him.
“I didn’t take too much from the Leo Santa Cruz fight. I felt [Gervonta] fought him the way he did because he didn’t respect Santa Cruz’s power. But with our fight he’s going to have no choice and he’s not going to fight me the way he fought Santa Cruz. Whatever he does fight night, I’m going to have to adapt.
“I’ve been boxing just as long as he has and I have an excellent boxing IQ, just as he has. It only takes one punch to change a fight, and he definitely has that one punch. But I’ll find out if that power carries over to 140 pounds.”
“We always work hard. Every camp is hard. It’s just that this time we added a little longer. We’ve been working since my last fight and I’m just so excited to go out there and display my talents.
“Me and Jeison Rosario, we’re both hungry. I just think I want it more and my preparation is going to speak for itself and the fans can only expect fireworks and the best of me.
“It’s not just one thing we’re working on; we’re working on everything to be our best. Everything is clicking on all cylinders right now. I feel I’m ready to fight. I’ve been ready to fight weeks ago. Everything is going to show on Saturday night.
“I’ve seen him fight against Charlo and others – I’ve seen enough. I know what I have to do to get him out of there. I’m a competitor and want to give the fans the best show.
“My loss affected me and motivated me big time. I know my abilities and I know what I’m capable of, so I just went back to the drawing board and took it all in. I understood how serious this sport is, and how unforgiving this sport is. So I knew I had to go out there and do things different to take my career to another level. That’s what I did.”
“I felt great when I got the call to be on this card. I was very happy to get this opportunity.
“There are four corners in the ring, I am going to catch him eventually. Outside of the ring he may be able to run from me, but inside the ring he won’t be able to.
“It’s about a sense of responsibility. I’m always ready to fight regardless of how long I have to prepare. My responsibility is to always be ready whenever I am called upon to put on a good show for the fans.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m very thankful to PBC and SHOWTIME for having me in consideration. I want to show what I am worth on Saturday.
“I know that my opponent is an aggressive fighter who throws a lot of punches with his right hand. I will be ready for anything. I have the capacity to adapt to whatever he wants to do, so I don’t care what he comes with because I am going to be ready.
“Being with PBC makes me feel closer to the belts. Now all I have to do is go in the ring and show what I am capable of to earn those belts as soon as possible.”
“I had a lot of emotions when I learned I would be fighting on this card. More than anything, it was a dream come true because I have worked my entire life for this. I thank God for this opportunity and I’m going to take advantage of it.
“I can’t stay in front of my opponent for too long, I need to box against him. It’s what I know how to do and it’s what I’ve been preparing to do.
“I feel great and I feel really ready for this fight. This is my first time fighting in Atlanta, it’s a really nice city.
“It’s a great motivation for me to be moved up to the pay-per-view card. I feel more motivated to do what I know how to do. I train and work hard every day, so nothing’s new.
“I want to prove how ready I am and to reach new heights. I want to show people wherever you are from, it’s possible to reach your dreams. I train every day, and work hard every day and there is no better motivation for me than to work this hard and to fight on this stage.
“I’ve been getting great sparring and I’ve been training at Wild Card in Hollywood, and those guys are warriors. All my sparring partners are hungry and this past week they all showed it.
“It is my first time being in Atlanta and it’s an honor for me to fight here on such a great card in front of such great people.
“Thank you so much for all of your support. I fought Mario in a World Title fight and went through a war, and now we work on the mistakes. I am ready to put on another performance, and I’ll do my best for the fans to enjoy an exciting fight.
“Under my coaches, Joel and Antonio Diaz, I have the best team in the world. It is a learning process every time whether it’s a win, lose, or draw. You have to make adjustments to your performances and that is what we did.
“I will do my best to bring the action and make the fans remember this fight. I already like the city of Atlanta. You can see right away that people like boxing here. It’s going to be a good card with good fights.
“I am very happy with the experience I have gotten in my previous fights and I expect it to help me in the future.”
“I feel great, I’m very happy and very excited. I’m very happy to be here today and excited to leave with a victory.
“The most important thing is coming away with the victory. I am very focused on the fight this Saturday.
“The main event is really none of my business because in the end, I am focused on my fight. After Saturday night, I will care about whichever one of the two in the main event wins their fight because then they will be my next opponent.
“I think this will be an interesting fight because boxing has changed. Akhmedov is an Olympian, and despite the fact that he has fewer fights, he lost a controversial decision to Mario Barrios. I think this fight will present a lot of different challenges and it will be an interesting fight for everyone to see on Saturday night.
“My training was a bit peculiar in Manchester, England, which was a different setting for me. I loved every second of it. My coach couldn’t be here because of COVID-19 circumstances, but I am still supported by my team right here which is great. I’m really excited to show what I have been working on this Saturday night.”
ABOUT DAVIS VS. BARRIOS
Davis vs. Barrios will see four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis set his sights on capturing a title in a third weight class when he faces undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios in a SHOWTIME PPV main event Saturday, June 26 at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a battle of two top 154-pound contenders as Erickson “Hammer” Lubin faces former unified champion Jeison Rosario in a WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event. Former unified super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams returns to the ring to take on Brian Mendoza in a 10-round showdown and hard-hitting Olympian Batyr Akhmedov steps in against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight Title Eliminator to kick off the pay-per-view telecast.
The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions. The Akhmedov vs. Mendez fight is promoted in association with World of Boxing.
Showtime Championship Boxing is a television boxing program airing on Showtime. Debuting in March 1986, it is broadcast live on the first Saturday of every month. Showtime Championship Boxing, which is very similar to HBO World Championship Boxing, features Mauro Ranallo on play-by-play, Al Bernstein as the color analyst, Jimmy Lennon (Sr. and Jr.) as ring announcers, and Jim Gray as reporter.
A sister program, ShoBox: The New Generation, occasionally airs on Friday nights; these broadcasts feature fights between boxing prospects.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, and also offers SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND and FLIX ON DEMAND®, and the network's authentication service SHOWTIME ANYTIME®. Showtime Digital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNI, operates the stand-alone streaming service SHOWTIME®. SHOWTIME is currently available to subscribers via cable, DBS, and telco providers, and as a stand-alone streaming service through Amazon, Apple®, Google, LG Smart TVs, Oculus Go, Roku®, Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox One. Consumers can also subscribe to SHOWTIME via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, Hulu, The Roku Channel, Sling TV and YouTube TV. Viewers can also watch on computers at Showtime.com. SNI also manages Pop TV. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV.
All Access: Davis vs. Barrios Episode II!
(June 22nd) Episode 2 of the Emmy® winning series takes viewers into the private lives and training camps of Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who will headline his second SHOWTIME PPV event, and Mario Barrios, an undefeated power-puncher nicknamed “El Azteca.”
Episode 1 of the Emmy® winning series chronicles the buildup to one of the summer’s biggest bouts as superstar Gervonta Davis looks to become a three-division champ against unbeaten Mario Barrios.
Andre Ward Visits Mario Barrios
In Training Camp Ahead of Gervonta Davis Showdown!
(June 18th) Undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion, Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs), was paid a visit by former multiple division world champion and future hall of famer, Andre Ward, as he gets ready to do battle with Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KOs).
Barrios, who trains under the tutelage of Virgil Hunter, Ward’s longtime coach, felt inspired by seeing Andre, one of boxing’s pound for pound greats.
“It was nice seeing Andre Ward at the gym,” stated Mario Barrios, who has spent the last eight weeks training with Hunter at Andre Ward's boxing gym in Hayward, CA. “Whenever you’re in the presence of a great fighter like Dre, someone who has conquered the pinnacles of boxing, its like his aura rubs off on you, and you have no choice but to feel great. The words of encouragement he told me put an extra fire in my soul. I’m coming with everything I got against Davis, and the world will see the greatness that God has blessed me with.”
Gervonta "Tank" Davis Media Workout!
(June 9th) Four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis Las Vegas media workout ahead of his SHOWTIME PPV main event against WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios on Saturday, June 26 from the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Omar Juarez Heads to Bay Area
Joins Mario Barrios in Training Camp!
(June 2nd) Undefeated super lightweight world class prospect, Omar “El Relámpago” Juarez (11-0, 5 KOS), has landed in the San Fransisco Bay Area to train alongside WBA Super Lightweight world champion, Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs).
Barrios is deep in training camp as he prepares for this upcoming showdown with Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KOs), set to take place on June 26, 2021, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, live on SHOWTIME PPV.
“Mario Barrios is a great friend and it’s an honor to be invited to his training camp,” said Juarez, who resides in Brownsville, Texas, but trains in San Antonio with Rick Nunez, who also works with Barrios. “I’m here to train along side of Barrios and learn what it’s like to be in a world class training camp.”
Juarez, who fights under the PBC banner, is coming off his most impressive win when he dominated Elias Damian Araujo (21-3, 8 KOs) over 10-rounds, a bout that was shown nationally on FOX.
“I’m learning a lot and I feel I can push him during drills,” Juarez continued. “My goal is to soak up as much knowledge as possible, while getting Barrios mentally ready for anything Davis will bring.”
Gervonta Davis vs Mario Barrios Atlanta Presser!
(May 21st) Four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios went face-to-face Thursday at a press conference to preview their SHOWTIME PPV main event taking place Saturday, June 26 at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
One of boxing’s biggest stars at just 26-years-old, Davis will take on a career-defining challenge in the undefeated Barrios, as he sets his sights on capturing a title in a third weight class. With a victory, Davis will hold world championships in three different divisions simultaneously, a feat only accomplished by a few fighters in history. Standing in his way is the undefeated 25-year-old Barrios, who owns a 9-0 record with eight knockouts during his 140-pound reign and holds a six-inch height advantage over Davis.
Davis returns to fight at State Farm Arena after selling out the venue in December 2019 during a star-studded event that saw him stop former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in the 12th and final round to capture a lightweight title.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say:
“Camp has been great for me. We know that Barrios is a bigger guy and that he can punch. We’re working hard each day in the gym, because we’re going up against a big task on June 26.
“We all have challenges we go through in life, and that’s what makes us strong. This is another challenge that I have on my road to success. I’m ready to walk through it and keep pushing.
“We know this is a dangerous fight. Barrios is coming with power and you know for sure I’m coming with power. May the best man win.
“I took this fight because I want to be great. All the other big names at lightweight had scheduled fights so I felt like I wanted to go out and beat the best fighter out there for me.
“Even if he is bigger than me on fight night, it doesn’t matter. This is all part of the sport. My goal is to break him down. If I can get him out of there, I’ll get him out of there. If it goes 12 rounds, so be it. He’s big and strong, but he’s never faced anyone like me.
“We have to wait and see what happens on fight night. Different styles dictate what I need to show in the fight. We’ll see what he brings to the table, and then we’ll capitalize off of it.
“I’m not worried about losing any speed by adding weight. I’m going to be quick regardless. I think I’m going to be at my best at 140-pounds.
“Like all of the rest of my fights, this is going to be action packed. Don’t go get popcorn during the fight, because it could end at any moment. I bring what boxing needs, and that’s excitement. We all know when I fight, it’s never a boring fight. From the first round, until whenever it ends, I just keep coming, in all of my fights. That’s what you’re going to see June 26.”
“This is a huge opportunity for me. ‘Tank’ called me out. I know he’s trying to do something great, but this is a dangerous fight for him. It’s going to be an action-packed fight. We’ve never faced fighters like each other before. We’re going to see on June 26 if it’s the right move for him.
“I fight to represent my city and my people. I’m going to go out there and do my best to make everybody proud.
“They might be looking at my fight against Batyr Akhmedov closely. But I think he has a totally different style and that this fight will be different than what they expect if they just watch that match. I don’t know what they see in me to want this fight, but none of it matters to me. All the questions are going to be answered on June 26.
“’Tank’ is jumping up two weight classes. He’s doing something a lot of great fighters have done. He even said it: this isn’t an easy fight for him. We’re ready to face the best version of ‘Tank’ that anyone has ever seen and it’s going to be war.
“I was surprised when his name was brought up to me. But whether you like ‘Tank’ or not, he has one of the biggest names in boxing. This is the type of fight that can skyrocket my name up there to the top level of the sport.
“’Tank’ is a good fighter and a very explosive fighter. There is the question of whether he’s bringing his power up to 140. I don’t have any concerns about it though. He’s the guy who has to show people he can handle my power at this weight.
“I’m excited to be fighting in Atlanta. This is my first time here actually but I know the fans here are very passionate. I’m expecting to see a great turnout here at State Farm Arena.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“’Tank’ is a generational fighter. He has certain abilities that others just don’t. He’s special, but this is a dangerous fight for him. This is a tremendous challenge and I’m really excited for this fight.
“Atlanta is a hot market. Obviously the first fight they had in a long time was ‘Tank’ vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa and it was a packed sold out crowd in this building. The fans really enjoyed it. The city needs big events like this. We told the fans we were coming back and here we are.
“’Tank’ is chasing history. When you look back at a lot of all-time greats, they’ve gone through things no one else ever has. Looking to be a three-division champion at 26 years old is another example of him chasing greatness like that.
“’Tank’ is the most exciting fighter in the entire sport and he gives the fans what they want to see. He puts butts in seats. People gravitate to the way he fights. This new generation of fans that we have, they love him.”
Four Time World Champion Gervonta Davis
Seeks Title In a Third Division Against
Unbeaten Super Lightweight Champion Marrio Barrios Heading Showtime PPV, June 26th
Live From State Farm Arena, In Atlanta!
(May 20th) Four-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis will take on a career-defining challenge as he sets his sights on capturing a title in a third weight class when he faces undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios in a SHOWTIME PPV main event Saturday, June 26 at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The pay-per-view undercard will feature a battle of two top 154-pound contenders as Erickson “Hammer” Lubin faces former unified champion Jeison Rosario in a WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator in the co-main event. Former unified super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams returns to the ring for the first time in 18 months to take on Brian Mendoza in a 10-round showdown and hard-hitting Olympian Batyr Akhmedov steps in against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight Title Eliminator to kick off the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
One of boxing’s biggest stars at just 26-years-old, Davis moves up to 140-pounds for the first time in his career as he aims to add super lightweight champion to his stellar resume. Davis has already captured titles at 130 and 135-pounds. With a victory, Davis will hold world championships in three different divisions simultaneously, a feat only accomplished by a few fighters in history, including Henry Armstrong and Canelo Alvarez. Standing in his way is the undefeated 25-year-old Barrios, who owns a 9-0 record with eight knockouts during his 140-pound reign while holding a six-inch height advantage over Davis.
“Gervonta Davis is looking to become a three-division world champion, and has a big undertaking in front of him in challenging Barrios for his WBA title at 140-pounds,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Barrios is a warrior, and this is going to be Davis’ toughest fight to date. Atlanta, be ready for a show on June 26!”
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) delivered a highlight-reel knockout in his last fight, producing another sensational and memorable performance that has made him a popular draw throughout the country. Davis stopped four-division champion Leo Santa Cruz with one powerful uppercut in that October 2020 fight and put Santa Cruz down and out for the first time in his illustrious career. Promoted by Mayweather Promotions, Davis will make his second headline appearance on pay-per-view as he has asserted himself as a must-see headline attraction in his first pay-per-view
Davis first burst onto the scene with an explosive knockout victory over Jose Pedraza to win the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title in a star-making performance on SHOWTIME® in January 2017. At the time, he became the youngest world champion in boxing at age 22. The Baltimore-native also owns knockout performances in world title fights over Jesus Cuellar in 2018 and Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2019. The 2019 triumph over Gamboa came at a sold out State Farm Arena, during a year that also saw him fill venues in his hometown of Baltimore and Southern California.
“I’m excited to make history on June 26 in Atlanta and become a three-division world champion,” said Davis. “Atlanta welcomed me with open arms for my fight against Gamboa and I couldn’t wait to come back and headline a spectacular SHOWTIME PPV card. Mario Barrios is an undefeated champion, but he hasn’t ever faced anyone like me before. Moving up to 140-pounds is a big challenge but I’ve been working hard in camp and I’ll be ready. Thank you to my whole team for making this historic boxing event possible. Make sure you get your tickets early because this fight is definitely selling out! Keep supporting me and I’ll fight for you!”
Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) captured his 140-pound championship in September 2019, scoring two knockdowns and fighting through a cut to win a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov. The San Antonio-native trains in Oakland, Calif., under the guidance of renowned coach Virgil Hunter. In his most recent outing, Barrios knocked out Ryan Karl in the sixth-round of their clash on the pay-per-view undercard of Davis vs. Santa Cruz.
Standing nearly six-feet tall, Barrios debuted as a pro at super bantamweight in 2013 and had success moving up the rankings in the super featherweight division. His first 140-pound bout came in 2017 and saw him increase his power from his previous performances. At super lightweight, Barrios has scored knockouts in every fight except the title-winning performance against Akhmedov, where his power was still on display with a pair of knockdowns.
“Fighting on SHOWTIME PPV is a dream come true and an opportunity that I’m going to take full advantage of,” said Barrios. “Gervonta Davis is a pound-for-pound champion and it’s going to be an honor sharing the ring with him. This fight is my shining moment and the pinnacle of the boxing world, on the biggest stage possible. Boxing fans around the globe will be watching this fight and I’m coming to shock the world. To all my Mexican fans, I'm going to bring this historic victory home for La Raza.”
The 25-year-old Lubin (23-1, 16 KOs) has put together an impressive five-bout winning streak since a loss to unified 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo in 2017. In his most recent outing, he defeated U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha by unanimous decision in September of last year. Prior to the victory over Gausha, he became the first person to stop former champion Ishe Smith, in addition to a dominating victory over Nathaniel Gallimore in October 2019. A native of Orlando, Fla., Lubin is trained by acclaimed coach Kevin Cunningham as he continues his quest toward another title opportunity. After a stellar amateur career, Lubin turned pro at 18 years old in 2013, eventually being named “Prospect Of The Year” by ESPN and Ring Magazine in 2016.
“I’m so ready for this fight and we’ve been working hard in preparation for Rosario,” said Lubin. “This fight is another step closer to getting that world title shot. Coach Cunningham and I have a great game plan in place. We know this is going to be a tough fight and the fans are going to see a much-improved version of myself. I’ve taken my training to the next level during this training camp. Rosario is a former world champion who I know is going to bring his best, which is going to make for a great night of boxing. This card is stacked, but I’m going to steal the show with an incredible performance. I will not be denied, I’m coming out on top. It's Hammer Time!”
Rosario (20-2-1, 14 KOs) will look to climb back into world title contention after losing his 154-pound belts to Jermell Charlo in their September 2020 clash. The 26-year-old captured the WBA and IBF belts by stopping Julian Williams in one of 2020’s biggest upsets. Born in the Dominican Republic and now fighting out of Miami, Rosario rode an eight-fight unbeaten streak into the showdown with Williams, including victories over 154-pound contenders Jamontay Clark, Justin DeLoach, Jorge Cota and Marcos Hernandez. Coming into the Charlo matchup, Rosario had established his power by earning a stoppage victory or scoring a knockdown in seven of his previous nine contests.
“I make no excuses for losing the fight to Charlo, but that was then, and this is now,” said Rosario. “I have turned to a new page in my career with my new trainer Herman Caicedo. I will not lose again, especially in this fight against Lubin. He’s a great contender, and I respect his abilities, but I will knock him out on June 26.”
Philadelphia’s Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) became a unified world champion at 154-pounds in May 2019 when he upset Jarrett Hurd in one of the year’s best fights, winning a close-quarters brawl by unanimous decision. The 31-year-old dropped the titles in his first defense, losing to Jeison Rosario in January 2020. Williams had been riding a five-fight winning streak going into the Rosario matchup, in which he added victories over former champion Ishe Smith and hard-hitting contender Nathaniel Gallimore to his ledger.
“This has been the longest layoff of my career, so I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “Mendoza is a decent fighter. I’ve even been in the gym with him and he’s a good guy. But on June 26, it’s going to be all business. I just need to come out on top. He doesn’t have anything that I haven’t seen before. I know he’ll be ready because this is like the Super Bowl for him. So I know he’ll be ready, but I’ll be ready too. If I’m able to get the win, then it’s on to bigger and better opportunities. But I’m definitely not looking past Brian because I know how seriously he’s taking this fight.”
Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) earned a career best-victory in his last outing, beating veteran contender Thomas LaManna by unanimous decision in August 2020. The 27-year-old has fought professionally since 2014, with his only defeat coming by a narrow split-decision in November 2019 against Larry Gomez. Mendoza was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he won two New Mexico Golden Gloves Championships as an amateur, and currently fights out of Las Vegas.
“This fight against Julian Williams is just the fight I’ve been waiting for,” said Mendoza. “I’m planning to take full advantage of the opportunity. Julian Williams is a great fighter, but after June 26, the whole world is going to know that I belong at this level.”
Born in Uzbekistan and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Akhmedov (8-1, 7 KOs) represented Turkey at the 2016 Olympic games. The 30-year-old turned pro in 2017 and won his first seven pro fights, with six coming by knockout. His lone blemish came in an action-packed title fight against Mario Barrios in September 2019, where he was able to survive two knockdowns to make it a close fight, before eventually losing by decision. Most recently, Akhmedov blasted out Ray Perez in the first round of their September 2020 clash.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring for a big fight on June 26,” said Akhmedov. “I’ve been training hard to get another shot at the title. I know that if I make a big statement and defeat a former world champion in Mendez, I expect my next fight will be for the title. I’m always in exciting fights that fans love, and this matchup is going to be no different.”
A former super featherweight champion, Mendez (25-6-3, 12 KOs) has a reputation for providing stiff challenges to the sport’s best and has proven to be a durable contender at 140-pounds, including his most recent outing that saw him drop a split-decision to Richardson Hitchins last December. In 2019, Mendez fought to back-to-back draws against super lightweight contenders Anthony Peterson and Juan Heraldez. Born in San Juan de La Maguana, Dominican Republic, Mendez now fights out of Yonkers, N.Y. and owns victories over Eddie Ramirez, Ivan Redkach and former titlist Miguel Vazquez. He has also gone toe-to-toe with former champions Rances Barthelemy and Robert Easter Jr.
“I am ready for anything Akhmedov brings and then a world title fight after,” said Mendez. “I believe that I beat Hitchins in my last fight, even though I was coming off a long layoff. I’m in great shape right now. Akhmedov is a hard puncher, but the fans are going to see me shine against him. There is a lot left in my tank and that will be obvious to everyone on June 26.”
Gervonta Davis Vs. Mario Barrio
On June 26th On Showtime Pay-Per-View!