Last minute sub: Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz this Saturday night in Carson, CA.


Particulars: This Feb. 9, from Carson City, California, it’s Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. late stand-in, journeyman Hugo, ‘Cuatito’ Ruiz. Showtime Championship Boxing.


Background: This was a stay busy fight for “the groomed one,” as southpaw Davis, Money Mayweather’s best protégé, was to have taken on shopworn, but always entertaining Abner Mares. Aging Mares still possesses an excellent toolbox.


Mares became injured – a bad one for the veteran. Mares suffered a detached retina during a recent sparring session last week. We at wish the classy Mares the best.

In the age-old tradition of boxing a stand-in was found, workhorse pro, Hugo Ruiz.


Davis has a glittering record and until recently an unassuming, pleasant way. Perhaps goaded by Floyd, perhaps not, he’s been shooting his mouth off online more than he’s been shooting his southpaw jab. For all the excitement that – AT LAST - DAZN and Co. had slain the PPV dragon and would force more great matchups …we got Pacquiao vs. Broner. I’d argued when Mares was Davis’s original opponent that the fight would be excellent.


I thought because of DAZN’s swift rise, we could expect nothing but quality matchups forever. Nope.


Fighter’s Grades: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)


Gervonta Davis: B+ B+ B C- B+ B+ B (Average of all) B (3.0)


Hugo Ruiz: C+ B C- B+ C B B- (Average of all) B- (2.7)


Reality check: Tank Davis, from the most crime-ridden Area of Baltimore, had a good amateur career and in terms of power, seems to be the real deal. He has an unusual, albeit deadly effective style you don’t see every day: A counterpuncher from the day he was born, he sometimes still initiates exchanges against weak competition. His secret is – and his short arms and quick reflexes may be the reason – he stands way outside his opponent’s reach waiting to counter, before unleashing arrow straight lefts, looping rights to the head and straighter rights to the body. It just works – he’s stopped 19 of 20.


Until Lomachenko’s – to me – shockingly ordinary outing against Pedraza, I would have said that Davis had less than zero chance of hurting – much less beating, the genial Ukrainian. If Lomachenko’s right shoulder is irreparably damaged, I now say Tank can catch and even stop Loma if the latter has become a one-armed, De La Hoya style bandit. (Though my money would still be on Loma.) Don’t sweat the four-pound difference, fans. If Loma and Davis are selected by the boxing gods to dance in 2019, the weight division will sort itself.


I think Davis is a star for sure, but never felt he is superman. My solitary qualm is that he vaguely rings a familiar bell: how did this guy arrive where he is? Is he that good? Here’s hoping he fights four times this year (yeah, right) and we learn the truth.


Hugo Ruiz is simply another hardnosed, willing and able, Mexican craftsman. He DOES have a fine reach and is very tall indeed for the weight. He swings an excellent counter-left hook. He is alas, incapable of throwing unless glued to the canvas – he’s a stationary target. If Davis has had a half-ass training camp, he still wins, easy. That aside, if Ruiz can even control long intervals of any round, it definitely dims Tank’s aura. Unless Davis has a career-worst performance, he wins inside the distance. Bet the house on that. What went from sure-fire entertainment value when Mares was the opponent, now should be cannon fodder obliteration.


Fight and prediction: Too much Tank.


Davis TKO 6 Ruiz.



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