Baltimore's Gervonta Davis has a new opponent for his Feb. 9 defense of the WBA junior lightweight title after his previous opponent, Abner Mares, pulled out because of a right-elbow injury suffered in sparring last week. Davis (20-0 with 19 knockouts) will defend against 30-year-old Hugo Ruiz, a former junior featherweight world champion. The change is a disappointing one for the 24-year-old rising star, who was looking to impress fans with a showcase win over Mares, a fighter once considered among the best in the world. But Davis will still headline the card, to be broadcast on Showtime starting at 10 p.m. He last fought on April 21, when he scored a sensational third-round knockout of Jesus Cuellar to claim the vacant WBA title. He expressed repeated frustration at his inactivity for the rest of 2018 but seemed invigorated by the prospect of fighting Mares, a former three-division champion. Ruiz, the late replacement for the fight at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., holds a four-inch height advantage on Davis and has won 39 fights against four defeats. But he'll likely enter the ring as a substantial underdog because he's naturally lighter than Davis and lacks the Baltimore fighter's explosive speed and power. "New opponent. Same goal," Davis wrote on Twitter after the change was announced Wednesday afternoon.