“Tank” is undoubtedly the most popular star of the new generation. He’s taking a huge risk to see if his power can translate.
CBS Sports Graphic
Rising star Gervonta Davis “Tank” Davis looked at the landscape of the two divisions where he holds world titles with the hope of drawing a large name. However, the options available from a network and political perspective were not appealing to him.
Davis (24-0, 23KOs), a 26-year-old Baltimore knockout machine who currently holds the WBA junior lightweight title and the secondary title at 135 lbs was just back from his pay-per view headlining debut in October. With a brutal uppercut, he recorded the knockout for the year that left Leo Santa Cruz, the four-division champion, out cold under the turnbuckle.
Davis made a quick decision to capitalize on his growing popularity as a box office and PPV draw. Davis, despite losing 130 pounds to face Santa Cruz, decided to jump up two weight divisions to make his return. He will be taking on WBA secondary juniorwelterweight champion Mario Barrios (26-0; 17 KOs) in Saturday’s main event of a Showtime TV PPV (9:00 p.m.). ET) at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
“This was definitely my decision. Davis said that it was a dare to be great and why he took this huge step last month. There weren’t many opportunities for me at 130 and 135. I believe I have the best boxing team and I went to them to tell them I wanted to go up to 140. To be great, you have to work hard. That’s what I’m doing.
Davis is the star of the group of four young fighters at 135-pounds (Teofimo López Jr., Devin Haney, and Ryan Garcia), who are poised to dominate the sport in the next decade. However, no one was willing to fight him politically.
This is the reality of current boxing. Fights between stars from competing networks and promotions don’t often come together like the July 24 heavyweight title PPV trio bout Tyson Fury/Deontay Wilder. Fox and ESPN will team up to promote and produce the event unless both fighters are equally successful.
Davis doesn’t see himself as competing with the younger players (all 23-years old or younger), but he does view them as waiting for their game to improve.
“It’s who [of the three fighters] survives to the end and who can become the next pay per view star. Davis stated that he became that fighter so that we could have dance partners. “I feel like I don’t compete with anyone. I am alone here. I don’t see anyone else. They can distract me from myself if I begin to look at them. My main focus is to continue doing what I am doing: winning and staying focused.
Davis is a public face for Mayweather Promotions, and he is also a key PPV brand competing under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. Outside the ring, Davis has mostly lived up to the high expectations. There were a few close calls with the scale as he tried to lose weight.
Davis, from a personal perspective, has threatened to ruin his reputation in the public eye by regularly being in the police blotter after multiple high-profile encounters with the law. After video of Davis allegedly assaulting his mother during a Miami charity basketball game, he was also charged with battery. In March, he was also hit with 14 criminal convictions in connection to a hit-and run incident that left four people injured.
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Davis, like Floyd Mayweather, has been successful in blocking out distractions from the outside of the ring to eliminate those within it. Davis isn’t a bad guy like Mayweather who was a strategic PPV salesman who made record-breaking payouts.
Davis stated, “I would affirm that I care in some ways because I don’t want people to believe I’m a monster or anything I’m not.” We all have haters. You can’t be right if you don’t have haters. Floyd used to tell me that even if people are talking bad about you, it doesn’t matter as they are still talking about you. This is what Floyd always told me and I understood. They will all be watching the fight, regardless of what.