Abner Mares forced to withdraw from Feb. 9 Gervonta Davis title bout; Hugo Ruiz fills in on short notice

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A major featherweight title fight is scrapped after Mares suffered an injury less than two weeks out from the fight.

Abner Mares forced to withdraw from Feb. 9 Gervonta Davis title bout; Hugo Ruiz fills in on short notice

A major featherweight title fight is scrapped after Mares suffered an injury less than two weeks out from the fight.

One of boxing's top fights to begin 2019 is no more.

Former three-division world champion Abner Mares suffered a right elbow injury in training and was forced to bow out of his scheduled bout on Feb. 9 against WBA "super" super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis. BoxingTalk.com was the first to report the news. Davis will still headline the show and face former super bantamweight champion Hugo Ruiz from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Davis (20-0, 19 KOs), one of boxing's exciting young stars, will defend his belt and return for the first time since demolishing Jesus Cuellar in three rounds back in April.

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Ruiz (39-4, 33 KOs) won the WBC title back in February 2016 when he stopped Julio Ceja. The 30-year-old has won three consecutive fights. He just competed on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner undercard in January and defeated Alberto Guevara by unanimous decision. 18 of Ruiz's 33 knockouts have come in the first round.

"I trained for three months to fight a southpaw when I fought in January," Ruiz said in a press release. "When the opponent changed, it was hard to adjust in 24 hours. After the fight I immediately went back to the gym, because you never know what's going to happen in boxing. I'm 100 percent ready to knockout Gervonta Davis."

Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs) was looking to avenge his June loss to Leo Santa Cruz and would have been making his debut at super featherweight. The 33-year-old was upset with not being able to compete in his home state.

"I'm not going to sugarcoat this. I'm disappointed and devastated that I've injured my right elbow in sparring,'' Mares said in the same press release. "This is something that I haven't had happen to me during my career and the feeling is just horrible. I will be going to see my doctor about this and am prepared to follow whatever recommendations and rehab that gets me back into the ring. I'm healthy, not afraid of doing the work and I will be back. This is a temporary setback. Don't count me out.''


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