Gervonta Davis vs. Jesus Cuellar – Results
By Jim Dower: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) became a world champion for the second time in his career in stopping Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) in the 3rd round to capture the WBA Super World super featherweight title last Saturday night in a fight on Showtime World Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The 23-year-old Davis was just too young, too big, and too powerful for the 31-year-old former WBA World featherweight belt holder Cuellar to handle. Davis knocked Cuellar down with a beautiful left to the body in round 2, and then put him down twice in round 3 to get the stoppage. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. stepped in and stopped the action at the 2:45 mark of round 3.
For Davis, he’s now once again a super featherweight world champion after he lost his IBF title 130-pound title last August after he missed making weight by coming in at 132 pounds for his title defense against Francisco Fonseca.
The IBF stripped Davis of his belt, but he still won the fight easily in stopping Fonseca in the 8th. After last Saturday night, Davis is now the WBA Super World super featherweight champion, and he plans on going after the IBF title next by fighting the winner of the Billy Dib vs. Tevin Farmer fight.
Cuellar is a good fighter, but he wasn’t able to keep Davis off of him at any point in the fight. It was obvious from the start that Davis had a big advantage in punching power, size and speed than the Argentine fighter Cuellar. Normally, Cuellar is stronger than his opponents, but not last night.
Davis was steamrolling Cuellar from the opening seconds of the fight in the 1st round. Davis was connecting with high percentage of shots. Indeed, Davis landed an incredible 49% of his power shots in the fight last Saturday night, and there wasn’t much Cuellar could do about it but take the shots, and hope that Davis would get tired.
With the loss, Cuellar has now been beaten in his last two fights to Davis and Abner Mares, and his once promising career is now in shambles. Cuellar lost to Oscar Escandon seven years ago by a 7th round knockout, but that was before he picked up the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight title in 2015. It’s going to be hard for Cuellar to come back from this latest defeat. It was such a one-sided beat down that Davis gave Cuellar. I don’t know if he can come back from this unless he can target a weaker champion at featherweight or super featherweight. Before Cuellar’s losses to Mares and Davis, he had looked near unbeatable in defeating Vic Darchinyan, Jonathan Oquendo, Ruben Tamayo, Rico Ramos, Juan Manuel Lopez, Gustavo Daniel Gonzalez, Jean Javier Sotelo and Claudio Rosendo Tapia in his previous 9 fights.
Cuellar’s recent bad luck kind of shows how quickly a fighter’s career can crumble on them overnight. I don’t know if it’s a case of Cuellar getting old suddenly or if he simply was never going to be good enough to beat the likes of Mares and Gervonta Davis.
”I’m focused and it showed because I’m a champ again,” Davis said. “There’s always bumps in the road when you want to become successful. It’s all about how you bounce back and tonight I showed that I’m a true champion.”
Davis is now trained by Kevin Cunningham, and he’s prepared outside of his hometown of Baltimore for the Cuellar fight, and it worked perfectly for him, as he was in great shape mentally and physically for the contest. Davis wasn’t at his best for his training camp for his last fight against Francisco Fonseca on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor on Showtime PPV on August 26 last year at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Davis coming in overweight by two pounds showed that he wasn’t mentally at his best in that fight.
Davis mixed up his punches well in the fight with Cuellar, hitting him with body shots, hooks, straight rights and hard uppercuts. Cuellar never seemed to know what type of punch Davis was going to throw in the fight, because he constantly kept him guessing by changing up the shots he was throwing and the angle of the punches. When Cuellar did throw punches, Davis would immediately hit him with a counter punch and make him think twice about letting his hands go in the fight.
Davis was picking Cuellar off with punches in round 1, and skillfully retreating backwards to avoid his attempts to return fire. When Cuellar would pursue Davis while he was backing up, he would fire off a left hook or a right and that would catch him clean and stop his forward progress. The heavy shots from Davis seemed to wear Cuellar down, causing him to be cautious about letting his hands go the way he had in his previous fights of his career.
It became clear that Cuellar had bit off more than he could chew in the 2nd round when Davis hit him with a left to the body that caused him to go down on a delayed reaction. Cuellar was hurt, and Davis didn’t bother going after him with additional body shots at that point. It’s as if Davis knew he would get Cuellar out whenever he wanted to. From that point on, Davis was hitting Cuellar at will with hard punches, and entertaining the boxing fans at ringside at the Barclays Center. Cuellar usually comes forward and tries to knockout his opponents. He was the doing the opposite against Davis. He was backing off, and trying not to get hit.
In the 3rd round, Davis knocked Cuellar down with several hard shots. Cuellar got back up, but he was really hurt. The referee gave Cuellar a break by letting him continue fighting, as he probably should have stopped it at that point. Davis then finished Cuellar off in dropping him for the second time in the round. The referee Benjy Esteves then stopped the fight.
“The game plan was to box a little bit and open him up with some shots,” Davis said. “When it was time, I went forward and caught him with enough shots to get him out. I want the IBF belt back and I’m ready to unify it with whoever wins the [Tevin] Farmer vs. [Billy] Dib fight.”
Davis has a very good chance of defeating the winner of the Farmer vs. Dib fight to win his IBF title back. We’ll have to see if the winner of the Farmer-Dib fight will want to mix it up with Davis, because they might not want to fight him with the way he’s looking right now.
Davis might be the best fighter in the super featherweight division right now. With Vasl Lomachenko moving up to lightweight, Davis’ main competition in the weight class is from Miguel Berchelt, Alberto Machado, Miguel Roman and Christopher Diaz. Berchelt is the toughest of that bunch. If Davis can beat Berchelt, you would have to assume that he’s the best fighter in the division today.
Davis can fight Lomachenko if he wants to take that fight. Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. reportedly made contact with Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum about a fight between the two. However, it doesn’t look like Davis wants the Lomachenko contest right now. Perhaps in a year or two Davis might be ready to take on the 2-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko. Ryan Garcia would be a good opponent for Davis to fight if his promoters at Golden Boy would give him permission to take on Davis. However, it’s extremely unlikely Golden Boy will agree to allow Garcia to take the fight with Davis, even though he recently called him out. Garcia, 19, is too green and much too weak to face a wrecking machine like Davis right now.