Hugo Ruiz's chances against knockout artist Gervonta Davis

Can Hugo Ruiz upset Gervonta Davis? Abner Mares serious injury


The disappointing news broke just 11 days before the scheduled bout between Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Abner Mares, as Mares suffered a detached retina and was forced to pull out of the fight.

The match that was supposed to settle the tension between the two on social media only extended their internet feud. Davis messaged Mares on Instagram, claiming he canceled the fight because he feared getting knocked out.

Mares replied, suggesting that he was the one who initially called “Tank” out and that Davis was immature and naive for thinking he would fake an injury to derail the match-up and potential payday. For Mares’ sake, it was a wise decision to not fight with an injury, especially since it would have been the most formidable challenge of his career. Not to mention, fighting with a detached retina can potentially cause blindness.


The opportunity is now in Hugo Ruiz’s hands, serving as the late replacement. He last fought on January 19th on the Pacquiao-Broner undercard, and cruised to a decisive unanimous decision victory over Alberto Guevara.

He dropped Guevara in the 1st round, and it looked like the fight would end in a quick KO. Ruiz proceeded to chase Guevara around the ring for the next 11 rounds and tried but couldn’t land another big shot to knock his opponent out. Even though the fight went the distance, Ruiz didn’t take much physical punishment and he should be fresh for the Davis fight. He went right back to training the Tuesday following the bout.


In today’s era, it’s considered to be an active year when a fighter fights three times. When he takes on Davis on February 9 at the Dignity Health Sports Park, it will be his 2nd fight in only three weeks. Just as was the case for Mares, Ruiz is making a very gutsy move in facing Davis.

He will be a bigger underdog than Mares was heading into the originally-scheduled bout. Ruiz has 3 knockout losses on his resume, and he began his career at super flyweight. When he fights Davis, he will have campaigned in 5 different weight divisions. He wants to knock “Tank”, who has never even been dropped once during his 20-fight professional career, out.


Ruiz has a lot of professional experience, beginning his career in 2006. He’s in a good rhythm right now since he’s been active, while it’s been nearly a year since Davis last fought. Ruiz has a significant height and reach advantage over Davis, and if he wants to extend the fight into the later rounds he will need to use it.

He might have enough power to keep “Tank” off of him, as Ruiz boasts a quality KO ratio with 33 knockouts in 39 wins. He isn’t as strong as Davis, and many expect “Tank” to bully Ruiz early on and win by stoppage--the same way he quickly finished off Jesus Cuellar in his last fight.


Ruiz has only fought at featherweight a few times, and on none of these occasions did he face a top-level opponent. Davis is one of the best and most powerful fighters at 130, and he will undoubtedly be the toughest opponent for the Mexican veteran. Most likely, the best possible outcome is for him to go the distance.

Davis has a good chin and isn’t afraid to stay in the pocket, continue to move forward, and pound away. “Tank” is going to box and show his craft for the first round or two, and then proceed to press the action when he gets warmed up. He’s expected to win by knockout, and even a decision loss to Davis would be a great achievement for Ruiz.


A lot of fans are disappointed that Davis isn’t fighting a natural 130-pounder, but nevertheless Ruiz deserves the opportunity. He was robbed of a chance to fight for a title when Jhack Tepora egregiously failed to make the featherweight limit by 5 pounds. Working hard in camp and exerting the effort to make weight is no easy task, and despite doing the right things, Ruiz didn’t get his title shot.

He is now presented with a far greater opportunity than facing Tepora for a featherweight world championship, and if he wins it would be the biggest upset of the year.


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