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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Boxing News / Gervonta Davis Should Follow “Pretty Boy” and Not “Money” Mayweather

Gervonta Davis Should Follow “Pretty Boy” and Not “Money” Mayweather

Being talented and winning isn't a clear recipe for success
Publish Date: 02/14/2019
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

My attraction to the sport of boxing lies in its expression. When two people decide to engage in combat, the fascination I have for it is somewhat disturbing to the common person. My obsession with combat sports is due to the fact that I know its true purpose. It is for one individual to establish dominance over the other as a human being. Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, in the Declaration of Independence, that all men were created equal. Boxing challenges that statement in the most primal way imaginable. No other fighter embodied that more in his prime than Floyd Mayweather.

The first half of his career, known as the “Pretty Boy” years, were an absolute joy to watch. The offense he displayed with his dazzling speed and incredible combination punching was simply breathtaking. When he was not beating opponents to the punch, he would embarrass them with his defense as if to say you are not my equal. He was a brilliant fighter who would take on all comers and had no problem calling out fighters. As a promoter and a guide to Davis, his decisions regarding his career baffle me. It also begs the question, should Tank be following “Pretty Boy” instead of “Money” Mayweather?

Gervonta Davis continued his winning streak when he dispatched Hugo Ruiz in one round. Before I go any further, I want to take this time out to applaud Ruiz for taking the fight on such short notice. He also just fought weeks prior to his bout with Davis, so I firmly believe that he should be praised for his decision. After the fight, Floyd and Davis took part in the traditional post-fight Q&A session. As someone who has high hopes for Davis, I was expecting a call-out of either Tevin Farmer or Vasyl Lomachenko. To my surprise, both of those fighters were not on his radar. In this video clip, Floyd makes it clear that they were not going to call-out any fighters. He points out that Davis is on his way to being a pay-per-view star and a household name. All he has to worry about is doing his job by winning and being exciting.

Now, compare this statement with the actions of Floyd in his prime. If you watch this video, he is constantly calling out some of the top fighters in the sport. Why did Floyd call these guys out? Because he understood that in order to become a star, you have to fight challenging opponents. He also embodied my earlier point about the meaning of combat sports. Floyd believed he was the best fighter in the world. He did not feel there were any other boxers alive that could match his skills. The only way he could prove that was to face and beat other boxers that challenged that statement. How could he become the biggest name in the sport unless he showed the world that he was the best fighter in the world? The answer is he couldn’t. Without fighting guys like the late Genaro Hernández, Angel Manfredy, Diego Corrales, and Arturo Gatti, he would not be where he is today. Those were just some of the early fights which put the boxing world on notice. It made us as boxing fans know that Pretty Boy Floyd was an extra special fighter. The hard truth is that in order for Tank to be a household name, he has to follow that same blueprint.

Many of you reading this article will say that I am a naive boxing writer and need to just quit writing. Boxing is a business and fighters should make as much money as they can for however long they are in the sport. As someone who has read countless stories of boxers going broke, I do agree with that statement. It is disheartening to hear that a fighter who gave so much to the sport lost their hard-earned money. But, let us also remember that all-time great fighters earned that money by building a legacy. Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather were the highest paid boxers at the peak of their careers. They did this because they fought the best competition. Davis has the potential to be a star just like Floyd “Money” Mayweather. But in order for him to do this, he needs to follow the blueprint of “Pretty Boy”.

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