Ellerbe sees Gervonta Davis as future crossover star
By Dan Ambrose: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe says he sees Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis transforming into a crossover star in boxing after his sixth-round knockout over Leo Santa Cruz last Saturday night.
Ellerbe is pretty excited about what he saw from Tank (24-0, 23 KOs), who knocked Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) out with a left uppercut in the 6th round in front of 9,024 fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Sounding very defensive about the criticism that Tank received for fighting what for all intents and purposes was a 126-pounder last Saturday, Ellerbe said that the fans wouldn’t dictate who Mayweather Promotions matches him against.
Santa Cruz recently moved up from 126 to 130 in his previous fight again, Miguel Flores, and he looked horrible in that fight. Facing a guy with 2 defeats in his last 3 fights, Santa Cruz took massive punishment in struggling to win a decision.
The fight showed that Santa Cruz lacked the power and the frame to be fighting at 130, so no one gave him a chance to beat Tank Davis.
Tank Davis needs to face better opposition
The fans aren’t asking for a lot from Davis, but they’d like to see him stop wasting time with over-matched fighters like Santa Cruz and 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa. Those would have good opponents for Davis if he fought them both in their prime, but those guys were a little past it by the time he fought them.
Boxing fans want to see Tank Davis fight these talents:
- Teofimo Lopez
- Devin Haney
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Ryan Garcia
- Luke Campbell
- Miguel Berchelt
- Shakur Stevenson
- Oscar Valdez
“He’s the most exciting fighter in the entire sport,” Ellerbe said to Fighthype about Tank Davis. “I been saying it, and I’m going to continue saying it. He’s a young star who is going to get better.
“He’s [Tank] nowhere near where he’s going to be eventually, but it’s about getting better with each fight. He wants to get back in the ring in a week or two and work on his skill set.
“Davis has an unlimited ceiling. He’s an incredibly special talent, and he’s getting ready to go to [places that people haven’t seen before.
“I’ve been saying, our goal is to cross him over to the mainstream world,” Ellerbe continued about Tank Davis. “We know what we’re doing, and that’s been proven by the career that Floyd has had. We know what the blueprint looks like,” said Ellerbe on wanting to turn Gervonta into a crossover star.
It’s going to be a lot more difficult to turn Tank Davis into a crossover star like Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Tank doesn’t have the same charisma as those fighters do, and he fights in a smaller weight class.
Ellerbe won’t let fans control who Gervonta fights
“It’s a little different. You’ve only seen a sprinkle of success and the magnitude of where this is going. He has a different type of appeal,” Ellerbe said in gushing over Tank’s performance in beating 32-year-old Sant Cruz.
“He has an incredible ability to attract an entire young generation. We’re not concerned with this Twitter boxing [critics].
“We love the fans, and we’re going to continue to give them the best fights. But they’re not going to control where we’re going. This is a great sport, but it’s also a business too.
“The great thing is all these guys are young, so they’ve got to fight each other at some point,” Ellerbe said of Tank, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez, and Ryan Garcia. “But no one is going to dictate to us on who, on when and where because we know what we’re doing,” said Ellerbe.
Well, Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions should listen to the fans because they’re telling them who they want to see.
For example, if you’re a performing artist and the fans ask you to perform a certain song they want to hear, you’re not going to make them happy if you choose to play some of your B-level stuff that sounds rank.
Yeah, you can ignore the fans and be stubborn about it by digging your feet into the same by shoving B-level stuff down their throats, but you lose in the end.
Those fans won’t want to spent their hard-earned money to see you plan second-rate songs. Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions need to give the fans want they want when it comes to Tank Davis.
That means no more fights against aging fighters like Santa Cruz and Gamboa. The fans want to see Tank fight Teofimo Lopez, Lomachenko, Shakur Stevenson, and Berchelt.
Davis will be in the biggest fights possible
“Gervonta Davis is going to be in the biggest fights possible for the most amount of money,” Ellerbe said. “Leo Santa Cruz is an incredible fighter. I was telling everyone throughout the promotion. I know what he brings to the table.
“This dude is a four-division world champion. It was back and forth those first few rounds. It was an exciting, highly entertaining fight. Those dudes were throwing from the go. Leo Santa Cruz didn’t take a step back; he was pressing the action.
“Because he’s a warrior, and all his fans stand up to Leo Santa Cruz,” Ellerbe said about Santa Cruz fighting back after he got hurt in the sixth by Davis.
“He’s an incredible fighter, and I have the utmost respect to him for daring to be great. That’s the risk that you take when you want to be great,” Ellerbe said.
Tank’s next fight is likely to be against 22-year-old Ryan Garcia in early 2021. Although Garcia hasn’t done anything with his career yet, he’s popular on social media.
If Ellerbe is just focused on hooking the casual boxing fans for Davis’ next fight rather than the hardcore fans, Ryan is perfect. He’ll bring in all the casual fans who don’t know much about boxing, and Tank will likely carry him for five or six rounds before stopping him.
You hate to say it, but it looked like Tank carried Santa Cruz last Saturday night by not going all out for the first four rounds. When Tank did put his foot on the accelerator starting in the fifth, one could see the end was near for Santa Cruz.
It looked like Tank carried Santa Cruz in the same way Floyd Mayweather Jr carried Conor McGregor.
Santa Cruz will be back
“He came up short, but he’ll be back. Many people wanted to hate on the match-up, but I told everybody it was going to be a great fight. Anytime you have those two types of styles come together, you’re going to have a big clash. Neither guy took a step backward.
“Our goal is to continue to elevate him [Tank Davis] and cross him over to the mainstream world,” said Ellerbe. “I got a lot of calls from A-listers. Can you imagine what his next fight is going to look like as far as when the outside opens back up [after the pandemic ends someday] as far as it being a star-studded event?
“We’re just excited by his ability to attract fans who aren’t part of the Twitter boxing because boxing right now is a niche sport. But our goal is to elevate the entire sport to bring it back from the old days where everyone is locked in.
“Tank is an incredibly exciting fighter, and everyone is commenting on his ability to get it done. That’s what it’s all about. The fans want to come to be entertained, and that’s what he’s given them,” said Ellerbe about Davis.
Davis’ next fight will almost surely be Ryan Garcia unless he loses his December 5th match against Luke Campbell. Tank has already said that he wants Ryan next, and we’ve seen the back and forth between the two on social media lately.
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