Gervonta Davis' replacement opponent has been announced for his WBA "Super" super featherweight title defense on February 9.
Instead of facing Abner Mares in the main event of a Showtime-televised card in Carson, California, Davis will now face Hugo Ruiz. The announcement was made shortly after it was revealed that Mares recently suffered a right elbow injury.
Mares injured his elbow during sparring at the Robert Garcia Boxing Gym in Riverside, California. Mares said he had experienced soreness in his elbow following his past two fights, but didn't think it was anything that would concern Mares or his team.
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.
This will be Mares' first time defending the WBA title since stopping Jesus Cuellar in the third round of their bout that took place in New York in April 2018. Davis took to Twitter to briefly talk about his new opponent, calling him better than Mares.
I think my opponent I have now is a better opponent than Abner..no disrespect— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) January 30, 2019
The title bout headlines a tripleheader of fights starting at 10 p.m. ET. The other two fights on the card are Javier Fortuna vs. Sharif Bogere in a 10-round lightweight bout and Mario Barrios vs. Richard Zamora in a 10-round junior welterweight matchup.