Publish Date: 06/10/2019
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
Howdy folks. Today I’d like to discuss some potential match ups for Gervonta Davis.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport today. He has quick hands, he throws good combinations, and uses a wide variety of different punches, including body blows. He has a solid defense and counters well. His hands are usually held high, but he also moves his head. He can box from the outside, using a stiff jab, but he can also get aggressive as well when he wants to. The punching power in both hands is just the icing on the cake.
I only see two potential issues for him. One is how short he is (5’5″), which I don’t believe will be a big problem. Look at Manny Pacquiao who is the same height. The other is that he is hanging out and working with Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather is a great role model for him, if he is helping with the dedication to the sport, because there aren’t too many fighters in the world who have a better work ethic than Floyd. He was always in tip-top shape and Davis might need a little help with that. He looks a little bloated at times. If he is trying to make a lot of money by using the same antics that “Money” Mayweather did, well, he might also be in good hands. However, if he wants to leave a lasting impression on fight fans and boxing historians across the globe, I would say Floyd might be one of the worst to rub elbows with.
This young man has talent and we would like to see him utilize it early and often like Ray Leonard did back in the good ole’ days. If I had it my way, I would have him fight the best at multiple weight classes because I would have that much confidence in him succeeding. Mayweather use to wait until he would see a weakness in his opponents before taking advantage of the situation, guys getting older like De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Gatti, Mosley, etc., or fighters out of their weight range (e.g. Marquez), or more inferior fighters, such as Baldomir, Guerrero, Berto, McGregor. These are all components of Floyd Mayweather being able to take advantage of the casual fans because everybody wanted to see him get beat. You either loved him, or hated him. Many loved “Sugar” Ray Leonard and Muhammed Ali because they were icons who took risks by fighting the best in their primes. That’s why they tend to be higher in most historical rankings.
Let’s try our best to make Gervonta Davis more like “Sugar” Ra or Muhammed Ali, not “Money May”.
There is no question that this is the number one match to make at 130 pounds. They are undoubtedly the two best at this given time. Again, I will continue to make it a point that I don’t really care much about how many weight classes and titles there are in the sport but this is a good fight regardless if it were at 130 or 135. Berchelt is a hard hitter and so is Davis. This could end up being a brutal war and I would put money down on this ending in a stoppage. Berchelt is a little raw and awkward but he is a go-getter. Davis would probably be better off staying at range, boxing and looking for the counter shot. The uppercut and body blows will probably come in handy for him during the fight. Let’s go ahead and leave no doubts in the minds of everybody by solidifying who the best at 130 is.
Being number one is the focal point here. This would prove who the number one at lightweight would be, as Loma is clearly king of the mountain right now. Tank could probably crack the pound for pound list without this bout, but if Gervonta Davis wants to be at the top of the food chain and prove that he is one of the best in the world, he needs this fight. Loma is ranked pound for pound number one by Transnational and The Ring. Lomachenko would have the advantage in foot work and angles, Tank has the power. They would be fairly even in hand speed and defense.
It would be interesting to see if Davis would be able to counter Lomachenko, or if Vasiliy’s movement and combination punching would break Gervonta down over time. I don’t see this happening right now due to political garbage and because Davis will likely try and wait until Loma slows down a little (Lomachenko is 31). Most people would love to see this now, or at least by next year sometime. This is a huge sell anywhere in the U.S. but probably best in Las Vegas or New York. Win or lose, both men gain massive credibility, especially Davis if he pulled it off.
Okay, there are so many options here, yet I chose Tevin Farmer. Why? Well, to me Farmer at this stage is a more proven test to Davis than many others right now at 130 or above. 130 is kind of a weak division. To me, Gervonta Davis, Miguel Berchelt and Tevin Farmer are the best and Joseph Diaz is pretty solid as well. Other than them, the rest are all kind of good contenders and probably wouldn’t fair too well against elite competition and if there was no such thing as super featherweight, they probably wouldn’t even be top 10, or possibly even top 20 contenders at 126 or 135. If we were talking about unifying the 130-pound weight class, he can run down Jamel Herring and could most likely win that one convincingly, but I don’t care to see that. Then go after Tevin Farmer for the IBF strap. That would unify the 130 if he could get past those three (including Berchelt).
He has a pretty good chance and I’m confident he could do it. Tevin Farmer is a slick boxer with quick hands and solid defense. He kind of reminds me of a poor man’s Pernell Whitaker. Similar styles, but clearly a different level of quality. Farmer’s style though is a problem for Davis. He throws a lot of punches, moves well, boxes well and seems to be able to take a solid punch. The problem is Tevin doesn’t have the power to scare Davis away. Tevin could make a good account of himself against any of the top 130- or 135-pound fighters and that’s why I chose him in this spot. It is a solid bout with some decent implications. Philadelphia, D.C., or New York could all be perfect landing spots for this.
Does it seem odd for a featherweight to be on this list? Maybe, but why? I haven’t heard anybody discuss the potential of the top featherweights moving up to take on some of the guys at 130 or 135. Yet there are so many more options if we had it that way. Could you imagine after Gary Russell and Leo Santa Cruz settle their differences to earn the crown at 126 then move up to 130 or 135? Preferably 135 because I wish there wasn’t a 130-pound weight class at all. We would have Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, Miguel Berchelt, Gary Russell, Tevin Farmer, Richard Commey, Teofimo Lopez, Robert Easter, Jose Pedraza and potentially guys like Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares back down (if they could make it), or even Leo Santa Cruz moving up. The list is endless and the matchups would be phenomenal.
If these two men met in the ring, it would be a sight to see. Gary Russell has some of the fastest hands I have ever seen and is a star boxing talent. Gervonta Davis is a beast of a man who can box and punch. The question would be, could Russell outmaneuver and outbox Davis with his speedy hands for 12 rounds and be able to take Tank’s power if he caught him clean, or would Gervonta take the risk of plowing through Russell’s shots to get one good one in. Tough fight to call, right? Perfect landing spot would be anywhere in Maryland, as both men are from there.
As I said before, there are so many options if guys like Gary Russell or Leo Santa Cruz move up in weight. Not that they need to, they are probably better suited to stay at 126, however, there are tons of options if they do. Of course, this bout would have to take place at either 130 or 135, not 126 as I don’t see Gervonta Davis making 126 because he can barely make 130. I mulled over many different boxers for this spot, such as Teofimo Lopez, which would be a barn burner. Richard Commey, which smells like a knockout for either. Robert Easter, Luke Campbell, Devin Haney, Mikey Garcia, Joseph Diaz, Jamel Herring are all good potentials and I just think that this was the best test for him right now, if he were trying to cement a Hall of Fame career.
He could meet up with guys like Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney and Joseph Diaz a little later on down the road because they are all still pretty young. Commey, Easter and Campbell are not quite as accomplished, skilled, or a bigger sell than Santa Cruz. Plus, they are bigger (135). Herring isn’t really a legit champion (no offense). Mikey Garcia would be a phenomenal matchup and I would probably prefer that one over this one, if Garcia ever went back down to 135, like he should. However, it doesn’t seem likely as Mikey is continuing to try his luck at 147. I could potentially see it happening in the near future though, if “Tank” blows up to 140 or 147, which I can definitely see happening soon. If Davis can still make 130 while he is young, why not add this one to your resume?
Santa Cruz is a pressure fighter who throws good combinations. The pressure alone would be tough to deal with and it would be very interesting to see if the clean shaved face of Leo could take the assault of Tank’s power when Davis goes to counter. Which is what Davis would need to do to win, jab and counter. This would suit just fine in Las Vegas or California.
By the way, could you imagine the stacked resume at the end of his career with Jose Pedraza, Miguel Berchelt, Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr., Tevin Farmer, Vasiliy Lomachenko? Then possibly adding Teofimo Lopez, Richard Commey, Robert Easter, Luke Campbell, Devin Haney, etc. at 135. Then possibly stepping up to fight at 140 or 147 against the likes of Mikey Garcia, Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, etc.? It would be nice if these guys like Gervonta fought more than once or twice a year, then we might be able to see all of these before he turned 30. When you get knockouts in four rounds or less, you have a tendency to get a little pudgy and get in some trouble when you’re not in the gym or the ring. I would advise him to continue to fight every month or two. Then there are no issues and he moves along quicker. Just my take, but what do I know?