Will referee affect outcome of Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios?
It's often said that it's not the size of the dog in the fight that ultimately matters, but the size of the fight in the dog.
In boxing, that's not always accurate. The time honored sport of professional prizefighting features 17 different weight divisions for a reason.
Size does indeed matter.
In Saturday night's main event on Showtime PPV, 5'5 1/2" Gervonta Davis will make his debut in the big Jr. Welterweight division against the current WBA "regular" Super Lightweight title holder, 5'10" Mario Barrios of San Antonio, Texas.
The scheduled twelve round contest will be the main event of a four bout Showtime PPV, with a start time of 9PM ET/6PM PT.
While most experts and pundits believe the height and reach disparity shouldn't negatively affect Davis' chances in the ring, expert trainer James Gogue claims that the referee in charge of the action could play a major role in determining the winner of the contest.
"If they have a referee who allows one fighter to hold excessively to make up for offensive and defensive deficiencies on the inside, he often affects the outcome of the fight," the experienced coach recently stated on War a Week Radio.
"When it's a style match-up in which you have a huge height disparity like this fight between Tank Davis and Mario Barrios, the advantage always tilts toward the taller, rangier fighter who wants to keep the fight at a safe distance...if the referee allows the taller man to tie his opponent up excessively, and doesn't warn or penalize him."
"If a taller fighter has weaknesses underneath, he will often wrap up his opponent and allow the referee to create that much needed distance between both men. It forces the smaller man to reset and start all over when attempting to cut off the ring and close the distance effectively."
"It breaks the flow of action and is a sizeable advantage to the taller fighter. It prevents the smaller man from having that time or space he needs to score effectively at close range. To have great success in this fight, Tank will need to be able to work underneath to land those uppercuts and hooks to the body and head...all of those short, compact punches Davis loves to throw inside."
Fortunately for all parties involved, as well as the fans viewing the event, veteran referee Thomas Taylor of California was selected to officiate Davis vs. Barrios.
Tomorrow night's third man in the ring is not overly officious, and has shown a history of allowing both men to fight on the inside without quickly breaking up the action. Taylor will often encourage both men to work out of a clinch, as exhibited throughout another WBA minor title fight between Jamal James and Thomas Dulorme, which took place in September of 2019.
The liberal officiating style of referee Thomas Taylor should result in a more fan friendly affair, but may shift the advantage to the title challenger.
"If you have a ref that makes both men fight out of the pocket, that's going to favor Tank Davis," claims James Gogue. "When Gervonta gets inside and Barrios tries to tie him up and smother him, if Taylor forces both men to fight underneath, it's going to let Tank get into a rhythm and give him that space he needs to throw those brutal uppercuts on the inside."
"That's what Davis wants. He doesn't want to fight the taller, rangier man from a distance. He wants to get inside and work the body and head in close quarters. Tank is an aggressive physical fighter who looks for a knock-out. That's why fans love watching Gervonta Davis."
"So it's important to have a referee like Thomas Taylor who encourages both men to work out of a clinch, and doesn't allow excessive holding."
Will referee Thomas Taylor play an integral role in determining the winner on Saturday, June 26?
- Davis vs Barrios
- GERVONTA DAVIS
- JAMES GOGUE
- MARIO BARRIOS
- Mayweather Promotions
- Referee Thomas Taylor
- Showtime PPV
- Tank vs Barrios preview
- Tank vs Barrios referee