WBA Super Featherweights in California: Davis KOs Bloody Ruiz, Cancio KOs Machado

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis made a fool out of Hugo Ruiz, a substitute for the injured Abner Mares in the Showtime main event. Ruiz tried to fight up one weight class. It evolved into a Showtime disaster.


Davis, 21-0 with 20 knockouts, Baltimore, Maryland, noticed Ruiz retreated into corners on occasion, and trapped him in a corner near the end of the first round, landing a right hook which dropped Ruiz and broke his nose, with blood streaming out nonstop. Ruiz, 39-3 with 35 knockouts, Glendora, California, beat the count, but failed to answer referee Jack Reiss, who unbelievably stopped the bout at 2:59 of the first round, on Saturday night, February 9, 2019, in the main event at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City, California.


Gervonta Davis KO 1 Hugo Ruiz, Super Featherweights (2:59)
Retains World Boxing Association Super World Super Featherweight title
Referee: Jack Reiss

Floyd Mayweather Promotions is NOT off the hook, though, in who’s next for Davis.

Meanwhile, unheralded 20-4-2 Andrew ‘El Chango’ Cancio of Ventura, California, came off the canvas for a nine-count in the first round and decked 21-0 Golden Boy fighter Alberto Machado of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and knocked him out at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, on February 9, 2019, setting up a WBA super world super featherweight super fight with Gervonta Davis later in 2019.

Result: Andrew Cancio KO 4 Alberto Machado (2:16)
Cancio wins World Boxing Association World Super Featherweight title
Referee: Raul Caiz Jr.

GERVONTA DAVIS DEFENDS WBA SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE WITH THRILLING FIRST-ROUND TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT OF HUGO RUIZ SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME® FROM DIGNITY HEALTH SPORTS PARK IN CARSON, CA
Mario Barrios Remains Undefeated With Fourth-Round TKO Of Richard Zamora
Javier Fortuna Scores Unanimous Decision Against Sharif Bogere In Telecast Opener
 Watch The Encore Presentation Monday At 10 P.M. ET/PT
On SHOWTIME EXTREME®
 
Click HERE for Photos; Credit: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME
Click HERE for Photos; Credit: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions
CARSON, Calif., (February 9, 2019) – Gervonta Davis defended his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with a thrilling first-round TKO of former world champion Hugo Ruiz before a sellout crowd of 8,048 at Dignity Health Sports Park Saturday non SHOWTIME.
Knockdown video highlight: https://s.sho.com/2URYn8t
Baltimore’s Davis (21-0, 20 KOs) recorded his eighth career first-round knockout as referee Jack Reiss called off the fight with one second remaining in the first round following a devastating sweeping right hook by Davis connected cleanly and sent Ruiz (39-5, 32 KOs) down to his knees.
Davis, who entered the ring to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, wasted little time showing why he is one of boxing rising super stars with his impressive fourth win in a world title fight. The 24-year-old Davis is the youngest U.S.-born world titlist in boxing and was headlining for the first time.
With his promoter Floyd Mayweather looking on, Davis made quick work of his late-replacement opponent. “I knew it was coming,” he said. “I wanted to go more rounds, but I knew if I got him out of there early I could fight again sooner. When I touched the jab I saw his arm was in front of his face so if I threw a hook or uppercut it was right in line.”
Davis, who has now stopped his last 12 opponents, connected on 50 percent of his power punches, just under the 51 percent power accuracy he logged in his last four fights.
The late substitute 32-year-old Ruiz was fighting for the second time in three weeks as he replaced the injured Abner Mares. Ruiz was used to being on the other side of first-round knockouts having recorded 18 of his own during his career.
“As soon as he started landing punches, I could feel them,” Ruiz said. “I have a lot of first round knock outs, today was my turn to lose in the first round. It happens in boxing.”
Next up for Davis could be the winner of the March 2 Ricardo Nunez-Edner Cherry WBA Eliminator on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center. “We could do that,” Davis said. “At the end of the day I’m a fighter. I’m a fighter and I have a great team. One of the best in the sport. I believe in my team and whatever they line up, I’m ready.
Davis told SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray he’s ready for a sweet homecoming for his next fight. “Yes, sir. We’re coming to Baltimore. We’re going home, baby.”
In the co-feature, Mario Barrios (23-0, 14 KOs) knocked out his seventh consecutive opponent as the 23-year-old from San Antonio stopped Mexico’s Richard Zamora (15-3, 10 KOs). The stoppage came at 2:16 in round four as referee Ray Corona waved off the fight after a barrage of Barrios punches landed cleanly and dazed the game Zamora.
With noted trained Virgil Hunter in his corner, the accurate Barrios landed a staggering 59 percent of his power punches, including 37 of 58 (64 percent) in the fourth and final round.
“He wasn’t an easy target at all,” said Barrios, who sparred with Amir Khan and Devin Haney in training camp and is the WBA’s No. 1 ranked fighter at 140 pounds. We just used everything we worked on in camp to find my range.”
He added: “It was an amazing fight. I tip my hat to Zamora – he’s a hell of a warrior. I wish him nothing but the best for the rest of his career. Like he said at the press conference, he wanted a war and I brought it to him. Total respect to him.”
Zamora was making his United States debut. “I came to fight,” he said. “I didn’t come to lay down. I thought I still could have fought more. I don’t want to criticize the referee. He did what he had to do.”
Barrios said he’s ready for the next big step-up in his career. “That’s up to my managerial team,” he said. “Whenever they feel I’m ready I’ll fight for a world title. Any one of them. I am knocking down the door for a world title right now.”
In the telecast opener, Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 23 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Sharif Bogere (32-2, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout. All three judges scored the fight 96-93 in favor of Fortuna.
The southpaw Fortuna, of Braintree, Mass, by way of the Dominican Republic, knocked down Bogere in the sixth round, the same round Bogere suffered a nasty cut above his right eye after an accidental head clash.
The knockdown occurred after a powerful left uppercut by Fortuna dazed Bogere, who appeared to be pushed down and touched his glove on the canvas. Referee Edward Collantes scored it a knockdown, giving Fortuna the 10-8 round.
“(The knock down) was correct,” said Fortuna, who said he would love a future shot against Davis. “I saw his eyes were a little glossy and his legs buckled a bit. When I saw that he was cut, the game plan changed again and we had to work again to attack the cut.”
Originally from Uganda but now living in Las Vegas, Bogere gave himself a seven out of 10 grade. “I think I won the fight,” he said. “Even the knockdown was bull. He kept coming at me with the head. He kept trying to head butt me. The challenge was that there was blood in my eye. The first couple of rounds I was boxing him easily.”
At the midway point of the fight, Fortuna began pulling away winning rounds six, seven and eight on SHOWTIME Steve Farhood’s unofficial scorecard as Bogere continued to fade, although coming back to win round nine on Farhood’s card.
In the power punch category, Fortuna connected on 89 of 310 punches for 29 percent while Bogere landed 59 of 317 for just 19 percent. Bogere was riding a 13-fight winning streak over the past six years coming into the fight.
“What I want right now is a contract so I can fight Gervonta Davis wherever. Lomachenko, any of them,” said Fortuna, who had a No Decision against Adrian Granados last June on SHOWTIME after falling out of the ring in the fourth round suffering a head and neck injury.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN featured two live undercard fights on social media platforms leading into the televised tripleheader. Former world title challenger Erickson Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs) knocked down Ishe Smith (29-11, 12 KOs) a total of four times before the fight was stopped at the end of round three in a scheduled 10-round super welterweight bout. Undefeated super lightweight Juan Heraldez (16-0, 10 KOs) stopped Eddie Ramirez (17-3, 11 KOs) in round seven of a scheduled 10-round fight.
Veteran broadcaster Brian Custer hosted SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING. Versatile combat sportscaster Mauro Ranallo called the action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and former two-division world champion Paulie Malignaggi. Three Hall of Famers rounded out the telecast team – Emmy® award winning reporter Jim Gray, boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial ringside scorer, and world-renowned ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. Alejandro Luna and former world champion Raul Marquez hosted the telecast in Spanish, available via Secondary Audio Programming (SAP). The Executive Producer of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.


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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.