WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis is ready to kick off the new year with his first title defense on Showtime.
The two-time world champion will defend his title against three-division titleholder Abner Mares on February 9, 2019. The title bout is scheduled to headline a Showtime Championship Boxing card from the StubHub Center, soon to be re-named Dignity Health Sports Park.
"The matchup between Gervonta Davis and Abner Mares features pound for pound two of the most exciting boxers,'' Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Sports said in a press release. "For Gervonta, it is the biggest test in his career and for Abner it is simply "Dare to be Great". These two are the definition of modern day gladiators who will put it all on the line on February 9. The winners of this exciting matchup are us - the fight fans and the general public who will be in for a treat!''
The fight will cap off a months-long social media feud between the two boxers, who had been trading words on Twitter and Instagram throughout the summer and fall. This lead to speculation that the two boxers would fight each other and speculation was further fueled when the Floyd Mayweather's Twitter account posted a teaser poster in August for the fight with no exact date or venue.
"I wanted this fight and I want this challenge against Gervonta Davis," Mares said. "I'm preparing well and I will add my fifth world title in my fourth weight class on February 9 on SHOWTIME."
This will be Davis' first fight since winning the WBA's "super" version of the 130-pound world title when he stopped Jesus Cuellar in the third round of their fight back in April. Davis became the youngest world champion in boxing at the time when he defeated Jose Pedraza to win the IBF title in January 2017. Davis would go on to be stripped of the title in August 2017 when he missed weight for a title defense against Francisco Fonseca.
"I'm very excited to be showcased in my first main event in the United States on February 9," Davis said. "I want to make a statement in this fight by putting on a tremendous performance against an experienced world champion like Abner Mares.”
Mares will be looking to win a world title in his fourth weight class, something less than 20 men have done in boxing history. Mares, who has held world titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds, has not fought since losing to WBA featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz on a Showtime-televised bout this past June.