Gervonta Davis vs. Roman Martinez possible for Mayweather-McGregor card
By Jeff Aranow: IBF super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis (18-0, 17 KOs) is expected to defend his title next against former 130 lb. champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) in a showcase fight on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor card on August 26. Martinez has been win-less since 2015.
Despite the 34-year-old Roman Martinez having good credentials as a former world champion, it’s not a great fight. This would have been an excellent fight if it took place in 2013 before Martinez was knocked out in the 8th round by Mikey Garcia. Since that fight, Martinez’s career has been a mess with him being involved in two highly controversial fights with Orlando Salido and then losing his last fight against Vasyl Lomachenko by a 5th round knockout.
The judging for the Martinez-Salido fights was quite bad in this writer’s opinion. I had Salido winning both fights easily. The second fight between them was a one-sided affair with Salido punishing Martinez so badly that I thought the fight should have been stopped after 8 rounds. Shockingly, the judges scored the fight a 12-round draw.
You can argue that Roman Martinez’s last real win was 3 years ago when he beat journeyman Herbert Quartey (12-9) by a 2n round knockout. Martinez has a lot of mileage on him from his 16-year pro career. Martinez has been in some grueling affairs against Ricky Burns, Miguel Beltran Jr., Juan Carlos Burgos, Diego Magdaleno, Mikey Garcia, Orlando Salido and Lomachenko. Even in the fights Martinez has won during his career, he’s taken a lot of punishment.
Roman Martinez has not fought since his 5th round knockout defeat to Lomachenko on June 11, 2016. It’s been over a year now. Martinez is no longer ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies.
It’s unclear what the overall objective in the 22-year-old Gervonta Davis throwing Martinez a bone by letting him fight for his IBF title after being knocked out in his last fight. It’s not fair to the contenders in the International Boxing Federation’s top 15, because they’d like to be getting a title shot. To be waiting for ages to get a crack at a title only see the champion to pick an unranked fighter that hasn’t fought in over a year, it’s not fair.
Gervonta Davis won the IBF title beating Jose Pedraza earlier this year by a 7th round knockout last January. Davis has defended his IBF belt once, defeating contender Liam Walsh by a 3rd round knockout last May.
The undercard for the Mayweather-McGregor card is still being filled out. Currently, former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter will be facing Thomas Dulorme. This is a showcase fight for Porter. It’s the same type of mismatch as the Gervonta Davis vs. Martinez fight. Light heavyweight Badou Jack will be fighting an opponent still to be determined. There was talk that Badou would fight WBA light heavyweight champion. Those plans have changed with the World Boxing Association ordering Cleverly to defend his belt against #1 WBA Dmitry Bivol. Super middleweight prospect Savannah Marshal will be making his pro debut against an opponent still to be determined. The Mayweather vs. McGregor undercard is not a great one unless you like mismatches. Hopefully, Mayweather will put together at least one good fight for the undercard, because the co-feature bout between Davis and Martinez is a terrible one.
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