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Gervonta Davis: I’m going to rough-up my opponents if I can’t beat them with talent

Gervonta Davis

By Dan Ambrose: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is ready to win by means necessary when he meets up with a fighter with superior talent to himself. Davis, 25, has a tough task ahead of him in Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) after boxing starts back up. Those two will b fighting on pay-per-view this year.

Boxing fans aren’t eager to see Davis fight the shop-worn Santa Cruz. The guys that fans want to see Davis battle are from these talents:

  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Vasiliy Lomachenko
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Miguel Berchelt
  • Oscar Valdez
  • Shakur Stevenson
  • Devin Haney
  • Joseph Diaz Jr.
  • Tevin Farmer
  • Gary Russell, Jr.

Santa Cruz is more yesterday’s news than one of the present talents, and that’s why people have no interest in seeing Davis fight him. Of all the fighters on the above list, Santa Cruz trails all of them in terms of being an opponent that boxing fans ant to see Davis fight.

Davis is coming off of a 12th round knockout win over 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) on December 28. It wasn’t one of Tank’s better performances, but he blames that on the wily former WBA featherweight champion Gamboa fighting just to survive until the 12th.

One reason for Gamboa going into the survival mode was the Achilles injury that he suffered in round two. After getting dropped by Davis, Gamboa tore his right Achilles. From that point on, Gamboa was forced to deal with the injury.

Gervonta Davis

Davis will rough up his opponents if needed

“I’ve always been an aggressive guy coming up,” said Tank Davis to WBA president Gilberto Mendoza on social media. “A lot of young fighters won’t beat me unless they train hard and come from where I come from.

“I’m aggressive. It’s not even about me hitting hard. If I can’t beat you talent-wise, then I’m going to rough you up. I’m going to use some Salido type stuff. But I don’t see nobody out there that has more skills than me in boxing right now,” said Gervonta.

Davis hasn’t roughed up anyone as of yet because he hasn’t needed to. With Tank Davis’ offensive arsenal, he’s able to blast out his opponents with his huge uppercuts and hooks.

Before Tank’s last fight against Gamboa, he destroyed Ricardo Nunez, Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar, and Hugo Ruiz. Tank probably could have destroyed Gamboa if he’d wanted to.

After Gamboa injured his Achilles, Tank seemed to take his foot off the accelerator, knowing that he had an easy mark. Until the 12th, Davis appeared to carry Gamboa and take it easy on him.

Pedraza was the toughest opponent for Gervonta

“I would say my toughest fight was [Jose] Pedraza,” said Tank Davis. “[Yuriorkis] Gamboa showed me a lot in there. Gamboa came to survive. He didn’t come to fight. One-shot I was hitting him with, and then my next shot, he was grabbing me or doing anything so he wouldn’t get knocked out.

“You know how you’re sparring someone that don’t throw back. It’s hard to hit a person when they don’t throw back at you. You need someone to engage with you to catch them with a shot. I didn’t feel tired. I actually watched the fight one time, so I don’t know what was going on.,” said Tank Davis.

It’s interesting that Tank considers Jose Pedraza as his toughest fight, considering that one-sided contest for the most part. Pedraza couldn’t do much of anything against the more powerful Tank. In the 7th, Davis dropped Pedraza in scoring a knockout. It wasn’t a hard fight for Tank.

Some boxing fans feel that Mayweather Promotions has purposefully been protecting Tank by not putting him in with Lomachenko, who has been trying to get a fight against him for years. By the time Mayweather Promotions does let Tank fight Lomachenko, he won’t receive credit by the boxing public.

The 32-year-old Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is already starting to show signs of slipping in his last few fights. Loma is no longer winning easily as he had during the best years of his career. That’s why it’s essential that Davis fight Lomachenko while he’s still fighting at a high level.

Gervonta Davis

Tank Davis motivated by people underestimating him

“Yeah, there’s a lot of people that underestimate me,” said Tank Davis. “That gives me more fire to train harder and work harder. I used to do a camp for eight weeks, but I’m going to start doing it for three months [12 weeks]. Of course, my coach is a father figure with me. He taught me a lot.

“I think he built what I have inside of me. He’s a great guy. It’s not only me that he helped. Over 20 fighters that he’s still working with. That’s his love for the sport. He loves the sport and loves his kids. He loves them so that they can help themselves and things like that,” said Davis.

The only boxing fans that are underestimating Tank right now are those that believe that his promoters are protecting him. Tank isn’t being put in with the talented fighters at 135, and that’s kind of troubling. Instead of fighting Lomachenko, Mayweather Promotions is matching him against over-the-hill guys like Gamboa and Santa Cruz.

With that kind of match-making, it’s not surprising why people are underestimating Tank. His own promoters don’t believe in him enough to match him against the best, so it makes sense for fans to have doubts about him as well.


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