Davies Fights Barroso for Interim Title Saturday in Houston
2024 is now in full swing! The combat sports world wastes no time in getting the new year started with a full night of fights this week.
The Sweet Science will take over Las Vegas on the first Saturday of 2024 when Oscar de la Hoya‘s Golden Boy Boxing sets up shop inside Virgin Hotels in Sin City for another evening of bouts on DAZN.
Live coverage begins Saturday at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT. In total, barring any late cancellations between now and then, seven matches will be held in Vegas.
Super-Lightweight Gold at Stake Between Davies and Barroso
There are two 12-round bouts at the top of the show, beginning with an intriguing contest at 140 lbs. The WBA Interim Super-Lightweight Championship of the World is up for grabs when Ohara Davies (25-2, 18 KOs) takes on Ismael Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs.) As previously mentioned, this fight is an advertised maximum of 12 rounds at three minutes per round.
Currently, as per the WBA, Rolando Romero holds the permanent title but cannot make a mandatory defense of his strap at the present time due to an injury, making his championship in recess. The WBA subsequently ruled that Romero is required to make a defense of his title no later than this coming March.
Initially, this fight was scheduled to take place in Houston a month ago, but was pushed back to Jan. 6 in Las Vegas after Ohara Davies could not receive his visa in time to compete inside the United States on the original date. Davies secured his visa a short time after the fight was postponed.
*Notification*: WBA 140 title is not vacant, belongs to Rolando Romero (@SignUp4KOs),who is injured and in recess
O. Davies and I. Barroso will box for the interim title
There was a publication error in the website. It will be corrected in the next hours due to technical issues
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) November 2, 2023
Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into Saturday night’s interim title fight, Ismael Barroso stands as the taller man at 5-foot-8 1/2, compared to the 5-foot-7 frame of Ohara Davies. The latter owns a two-inch reach advantage (71 inches to 69 inches) over the former ahead of this bout.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the oddsmakers have Ohara Davies installed as a -550 betting favorite on the money line, while Ismael Barroso counters as a +350 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Ohara Davies Stoked for Interim Championship Opportunity
Ohara Davies enters Saturday night’s co-main event having gone 5-0 over his last five fights. Currently, he’s on a seven-fight winning streak.
Most recently, he scored a ninth-round knockout of Lewis Ritson (23-3, 13 KOs) back in March. When this title fight was first announced, Davies predicted violence of the highest order.
“It’s going to be a brawl– Barroso’s a tough nut,” Davies said of his opposition, “and frankly, should’ve been crowned the real WBA champ when he had Rolly Romero reeling. But, hey, I’m pumped to finally settle the score from that missed chance in Dubai.”
On a November night two years ago, Davies and Barroso were supposed to have fought in Dubai, but the latter failed to report to the weigh-in the day before the fight. In Barroso’s stead, Davies met Nicholas Mwangi for a 10-round fight, with Davies taking the contest by unanimous decision.
Two years later, the time has finally come for these two men to lock horns inside the squared circle. What will happen this time around? Tune in and find out.
Ismael Barroso Wants a Clean Finish Saturday Night
In the other corner, Ismael Barroso has gone 4-1 over the course of his last five matches. Most recently, he saw a four-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of the aforementioned Rolando Romero back in May on Showtime Championship Boxing.
The official decision that night was one stewed in controversy. Upon scoring with a left hook in the ninth round of a scheduled 12, Rolando Romero appeared to knock Barroso down with a shove, recorded as such by arbiter Tony Weeks, despite not seeing the shove happen live. Later on, Weeks called a halt to the proceedings in Romero’s favor.
After the fight, Barroso was asked about his thoughts on the decision by Showtime’s Jim Gray.
“I think it was an injustice to stop this fight,” Barroso said through his translator. “I was giving the best shots.” Barroso later contended that the knockdown ruled by Weeks was little more than a shove.
Tony Weeks avoided giving a post-fight interview on Showtime that night. Not all fights can have a clean finish to them, so can Barroso score the win absent of controversy on Saturday?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
You’ve got a classic southpaw vs. orthodox showdown here on Saturday night. This should be a fun one to watch.
Watch Davies Go for a Left Hook
If you watched Ohara Davies’ last fight against Lewis Ritson, you already know how deadly his left hook is. With less than a minute remaining on the ninth-round clock, Davies connected on a left hook to the body, crumpling Ritson like a piece of paper in the process.
Despite Ritson clearly being down and unable to rise to his feet, the referee still administered the 10-count before calling the fight off. If Davies finds himself in a favorable spot, odds are that he’ll work the body and find the left hook again. Should that be the case, it’s a wrap.
Barroso Can Make Quick Work of Anybody
In the other corner, although this is scheduled to be a 12-round affair, Ismael Barroso might not need all 36 minutes of action to come away as the victor in the Lone Star State on Saturday night. It may only take him less than a full round, like it did almost three years ago in a 10-round contest vs. Nestor Hugo Paniagua.
This was a fun fight for as long as it lasted. Barroso quickly began his assignment by throwing feints to keep his adversary honest. Although Paniagua managed to counterpunch against Barroso, these moments were few and far between.
At the midway point of round one that January night in Miami, Barroso connected on a punch to Paniagua’s head to knock him down. Barroso knew he had the fight bagged once he retreated back to his corner.
All it will take for Barroso to win the belt is one punch to the head. If he goes upstairs and lands the big shot, he’ll walk out of the Houston Rockets’ home court with the belt around his waist.
Get your popcorn ready. This will be an amazing fight to watch on Saturday night.
🔥 FIGHT WEEK 🔥
🎟: https://t.co/rrs3im6dNt#OrtizLawson | LIVE on DAZN 01.06.24 pic.twitter.com/As0GYw5ZDZ
— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyBoxing) January 2, 2024
Prediction: Ohara Davies by Unanimous Decision.