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Showtime Championship Boxing February 9 Preview:

Showtime’s first Championship Boxing event of 2019, scheduled to take place in Carson, California had to undergo a major change to the main event.

Gervonta Davis was originally scheduled to defend his WBA “Super” super featherweight title against three-division world champion Abner Mares, but Mares had to withdraw from the fight with less than two weeks before the fight. In Mares’ place is former world champion Hugo Ruiz, who didn’t

It was initially announced that Mares suffered a right elbow injury that forced him to withdraw. Mares revealed on the “Inside PBC Boxing” show that the real reason he withdrew was due to a detached retina that had occurred during sparring in late January and underwent surgery on January 30.

“I got hit in the eye. I felt the pain, but I went through it. I still sparred. I came back on Friday [January 25] for another sparring session, I got hit again. It’s a contact sport. And my eye got super red. And it was that Friday and Saturday [January 25 and 26] where I started seeing clouds and just blurred vision and I told my wife and my wife was like, ‘You got to get it checked.’ I said, 'No, I’m good.' Friday [January 28] came and I was gonna go to the gym. I had another sparring session ready for Friday [January 28], but my wife insisted I go see the doctor. So, she won and I went to the doctor. He said, 'Abner, you have a detached retina. You’re not gonna be able to fight,'" Mares said.

The last couple of weeks have been anything but quiet for Ruiz. Ruiz was originally scheduled to fight Jhack Tepora for the interim WBA featherweight title on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner pay-per-view card from Las Vegas on January 19. Tepora was massively overweight and Ruiz's title shot was gone as he then faced Alberto Guevara at that event. Ruiz would go on to win that fight comfortably by unanimous decision.

Although Ruiz is coming into the fight as a massive underdog, it’s not like he doesn’t have the tools to pull off the upset. Firstly, Ruiz is a former world champion at super bantamweight and was a former interim titleholder at bantamweight, but he’s actually around 5’9.5” meaning he is much taller than Davis. Secondly, Ruiz has fast hands and a strong puncher, winning 33 of his 39 fights by knockout so he carries a lot of power for someone who fights around those weight classes.

Despite the change in opponent, Davis told me in a recent media conference call is actually not sweating it and is content that the training camp he had was still good enough to prepare him for Ruiz. Even so, Davis said he usually makes his adjustments inside the ring during a fight and is simply eager to get back to fighting.

"This camp I actually sparred different types of guys. I sparred someone that’s come after me. He was much taller with a longer reach, so I thank him for the work and things like that because now I needed it. I’m excited. Nothing other than training. We’ll adapt to whatever was in front of us, so. I’m just excited to see what he brings February 9. I’m just excited. This is my first main event in the US, so like I said I’m in a great space right now. I know that 2019 is very big for me and I’m just soaking it all in. I don’t feel like I should be nervous though when you have good food on your plate. I’m just, I’m ready," Davis said.

The full card is a massive one with a total of 14 fights currently scheduled for the event, but there is a good chance at least one fight ends up being canceled for one reason or another. Three fights are going to be shown on Showtime television while two more are going to be streamed on Showtime’s social media platforms.

Showtime TV card:

  • Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz: WBA "Super" super featherweight title
  • Mario Barrios vs. Richard Zamora
  • Sharif Bogere vs. Javier Fortuna

Showtime online stream card:

  • Juan Heraldez vs. Eddie Ramirez
  • Erickson Lubin vs. Ishe Smith

Untelevised undercard:

  • Angelo Leo vs. Alberto Torres
  • Xavier Martinez vs. Deivi Julio Bassa​​​​​​
  • Maurice Lee vs. Lennard Davis
  • Lorenzo Simpson vs. Jonell Christmas
  • Genisis Libranza vs. Gilberto Mendoza
  • Francisco Ochoa vs. Luis May
  • Jose Balderas vs. Jerrod Miner
  • Emmanuel Medina vs. Carlos Winston Velasquez
  • Angel Carvajal vs. Israel Luna

Tale of the Tape: Gervonta Davis vs. Hugo Ruiz:

Gervonta Davis:

Record: 20-0 (19 KO)

Age: 24

Height: 5'5.5"

Reach: 67.5"

Notable Fights: Jesus Cuellar, Liam Walsh, Jose Pedraza

Titles Won: IBF Super Featherweight, WBA "Super" Super Featherweight titles

Hugo Ruiz:

Record: 39-4 (33 KO)

Age: 32

Height: 5'9.5"

Reach: 70.5"

Notable Fights: Hozumi Hasegawa, Julio Ceja, Koki Kameda

Titles Won: WBC Super Bantamweight, Interim WBA Bantamweight titles

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