Facing a task as challenging as taking on arguably the 130-pound division's best fighter in Gervonta Davis is a welcome one for Ricardo Nunez.
Even as recent as three months ago, Nunez's name wasn't uttered by virtually anyone as a top contender, but now the Panamanian fighter is just days away from a fight for the WBA super featherweight title. The fight, set for July 27 in Davis' hometown of Baltimore, will be the first of many for the 25-year-old: first fight in the United States, first world title challenge and first fight against someone of Davis' elite statute.
Nunez told Fightful in a recent media conference call that he holds this opportunity near and dear to his heart. Nunez wants to be the first Panamanian to hold the title since Jezreel Corrales from 2016 to 2017 and fourth overall since the title's creation in 1963.
"Yes, I'm very motivated. This is personal for me. I do want beat Gervonta Davis. I have a great showing in Baltimore, although it's his hometown. I want to bring the championship back to Panama, not only for myself but for my family. We've prepared very well physically and also technically for this fight. So you're going to watch a great fight coming from me," Nunez said.
But Nunez has plenty to deal with aside from Davis when the two square off in the ring. This is only the second time Nunez has fought outside of his native country of Panama and it will be his U.S. pro debut. Add in the fact that the fight will take place in Davis' hometown of Baltimore and Nunez has more than just the deck stacked against him.
Planning not only a strategy to win the fight, but also preparing for the trip to the United States is a tough task for anyone, but Nunez feels ready. Not only does he feel like being the underdog is a personal thing for him, Nunez believes he has grown into the kind of boxer ready to shock the world in a year that has already seen plenty of major upsets.
"Of course we have [prepared for everything] - this is for the championship belt. I've had no problems in training camp. So there's no excuses. We've matured as a boxer. My record states that. So everything has been worked on double for this great fight," Nunez said.
After getting knocked out by Barnie Arguelles back in 2015, Nunez has worked all the way to becoming the mandatory contender to Davis' title. Rising a 10-fight win streak with nine of them ending inside the distance, Nunez has developed himself into a power puncher in Panama. Given Davis' own penchant for knocking out or stopping guys, sometimes early in his fights, Nunez not only expects fireworks, but also expects their title bout to not see the final bell.
"It's going to be a great fight. We're going to - it's going to be a great, great show that we're going to have. If you look at our records, it's two rivals that the percentage of knockouts are high. I think he has one more knockout than me during his career. So that's why this fight is going to be action packed, because we're both knockout artists. So, that's why it will be an action-packed fight because we both are knockout artists. No, I definitely don't think this is going to go the full rounds because as I said before, the high percentage we have of knockouts. So somebody is definitely going down," Nunez said.
Davis vs. Nunez for the WBA "Super" super featherweight title will headline the July 27 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. On the card are former world champions Yuriorkis Gamboa and Rocky Martinez facing off in the co-main event.