Tuesday, December 05, 2023  |


Ohara Davies scheduled to take on Ismael Barroso on Dec. 2 in Houston

Ohara Davies. Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing
Fighters Network

Ohara Davies is closing in on a world title shot at 140 pounds.

Standing in his way is Ismael Barroso, who was very close to doing so in his last fight.

Davies and Barroso will square off on December 2, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday. The 12-round bout will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will precede the 12-round main event bout between junior welterweights Ryan Garcia and Oscar Duarte.

Both fights will stream live on DAZN (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT).

At stake is the vacant WBA interim world junior welterweight title. Davies recently signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions and will be making his U.S. debut.

“Ohara Davies is a monster in the ring and deserving of a world championship opportunity,” said Oscar De La Hoya, who is the Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This is the first fight in the United States with Golden Boy directing his career path, and I am very confident that he will accomplish his mission to end the fight with the (interim) championship belt around his waist and his hand raised in victory.”

Davies (25-2, 18 knockouts), who resides in London, England, knocked out Lewis Ritson in the ninth round of his last fight on March 4. A devastating left hook to the body of Ritson ended matters in favor of Davies.

The 31-year-old Davies has won his last seven fights since losing by unanimous decision to Jack Catterall in October 2018, including victories over Miguel Vazquez, Logan Yoon, and Tyrone McKenna. Davies hopes to make a statement at the expense of Barroso on December 2.

“Absolutely over the moon to get this fight confirmed,” said Davies. “It’s gonna be a tough fight because Barroso should be the real WBA world champion as he was smoking (Rolando) ‘Rolly’ Romero, but excited to get the fight we were meant to get three years ago in Dubai.

“On December 2, I’m coming to knock Ismael Barroso out and become interim world champion. Massive thank you to the Golden Boy team, Oscar, Eric (Gomez), and my manager Lee Eaton for all their hard work. It’s time to rock and roll.”

Barroso (24-4-2, 22 KOs) last fought on May 13, losing by knockout to Romero in controversial fashion. Barroso dropped Romero early in the fight and was ahead on the scorecards (78-73, 77-74, and 76-75) before the fight was stopped in the ninth round. Replays showed Barroso was not hurt and was not getting hit flush with any punches before referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight.

Rolando Romero won the vacant WBA title with the win, but has been sidelined to an apparent injury. The WBA recently allowed Romero a medical exception and he must fight the winner of the Davies-Barroso fight.

Prior to the loss to Romero, Barroso had won his previous four fights, including wins over Yves Ulysse, Jr. and Fernando David Saucedo. Barroso has suffered defeats at the hands of Anthony Crolla, Isa Chaniev, and Botirzhon Akhmedov.

The 40-year-old Barroso has moved on from the loss to Romero, and is confident he will receive the rematch after defeating Davies.

“I’m very excited to have another opportunity to show that I’m at the world championship level,” said Barroso. “I proved it in my last fight, and this time I’m going to make sure there’s no doubt, whatsoever. My team has stuck by me through everything and it has motivated me to get back into the ring and make all our hard work pay off. When fight night comes, I’ll be ready to have my hand raised and leave the ring with the title.”

“Israel Barroso proved in his last fight that he belongs with all of the top 140 pounders in the world,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “He put on a great performance on short notice last time out and I’m sure that he’ll be highly motivated to finish the fight this time.”

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]