Davies shellshocked following first-round stoppage loss to Barroso

Ohara Davies could not have suffered a worse Las Vegas debut, stopped in a round by Ismael Barroso, following months of campaigning for a big fight in America.

Davies (25-3, 18KOs) had seen an opportunity to face Rolly Romero fall by the wayside late last year due to the WBA super-lightweight champion’s fitness and injury issues, so the Englishman was matched with former WBA lightweight champion Barroso (25-4-2) instead. 

Still smarting over a controversial stoppage defeat to Romero in March last year, Barroso once again proved his credentials amongst the leading contenders in the 140lbs division with a clinical and destructive first-round stoppage over Davies in Las Vegas. 

The 40-year-old Venezuelan dropped Davies twice before referee Celestino Ruiz called a halt to the action after 1-53. 

An emotional and shocked Davies spoke on social media following the loss, acknowledging that he made a mistake trying to force the action. 

“I’ve watched the fight back, and I made a mistake,” Davies admitted. “I rushed in when I shouldn’t have rushed in. I should’ve been a bit more patient, but it was a mistake I made, and I paid for it. At this level, you can’t afford to make certain mistakes.

“I paid for it in a big way. My pride’s really hurt right now. I thought I was going to go to bed being the champion. I planned to take the belt to bed, sleep with it, take it home and get it framed up and put on the wall. This isn’t happening. My pride’s very hurt.

“What can I do but just take some time off and come back stronger? This ain’t gonna be the end of me.”

Victory for Barroso allows him to join Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall as the only men to defeat Davies, and the former lightweight champion is now in the driving seat for another world title opportunity.