Unbeaten slugger Gervonta Davis' bid for a world title in a third weight class against Mario Barrios on June 26 headlines a strong spring/summer boxing schedule announced Thursday by Showtime.
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) will challenge unbeaten Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) in a bid for Barrios' WBA super lightweight title. If successful, it will make Davis a three-division world champion. He currently holds belts at super featherweight and lightweight.
Showtime's schedule is filled with compelling fights, including a bantamweight title bout on May 29 between Nordine Oubaali and Nonito Donaire; a bout for the undisputed super welterweight title on July 17 between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castaño and an Aug. 28 super middleweight title eliminator between David Benavidez and Jose Uzcategui.
All fights will be held before live audiences.
Davis is the star attraction in this mass of significant bouts, both because of the type of bout he figures to deliver and because of the historic nature of his quest. Stephen Espinoza, the president of sports at Showtime, said the quality fights that Davis could take at lightweight are going to take more time to make.
So he signed off on Davis' idea of going up and challenging Barrios for his title.
"With Tank having developed into a bonafide headliner, the options opened up greatly for him," Espinoza told Yahoo Sports. "We had a lot of possibilities, anywhere from 130 up to, as we've just discovered, 140 pounds. Being realistic, there are some really attractive fights, which I won't say aren't available but will take a long time to become available, if they ever become available. ...
"This is the best immediate matchup we could make that we know is high-level that we know we can make and which will then give us time to get one of those other matches that are attractive for Tank put together."
Donaire vs. Oubaali figures to be a compelling bout for the WBC bantamweight belt. Espinoza noted that the fight "has great sleeper potential" and said it's one that he was lucky to be able to salvage after it was postponed last year because of COVID-19.
Charlo will face Castaño in what should be a grueling bout.
"I think in some ways, the Charlo-Castaño bout may be underestimated because Castaño is not a household name in the U.S.," Espinoza said. "Some people won't recognize his name and think it's an easy fight for Mel. This is anything but an easy fight. He's a rugged, tough guy. He's probably not as athletic as Mel, but who in that division is?"
Showtime's full upcoming boxing schedule
May 15: Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa, for the WBC super bantamweight title; Danny Roman vs. Ricardo Espinoza Franco, super bantamweights; Xavier Martinez vs. Abraham Montoya, super featherweights.
May 29: Oubaali vs. Donaire for the WBC bantamweight title; Subriel Matias vs. Batyrzhan Jukembayev in an IBF super lightweight title eliminator.
June 19: Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel for the WBC middleweight title.
June 26: On Showtime PPV, Davis vs. Barrios for the WBA super lightweight title; Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario in a WBC super welterweight eliminator.
July 3: Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa for the interim WBA super featherweight title.
July 17: Jermell Charlo vs. Castaño for the undisputed super welterweight title.
Aug. 14: Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. John Riel Casimero for the WBO bantamweight title.
Aug. 28: Benavidez vs. Uzcategui in a WBC super middleweight eliminator.
Sept. 11: Stephen Fulton Jr. vs. the Nery-Figueroa winner in a super bantamweight unification bout.
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