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Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

By Aragon Garcia: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis showed a lot of vulnerability last Saturday night against the smaller fighter Leo Santa Cruz. That performance showed that he’s not ready for a fight against the unified 135-lb champion Teofimo Lopez.

Tank Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) will be turning 26-years-old next Saturday, and he’s three years older than the 23-year-old Teofimo, who is far more advanced in terms of boxing skills and ring achievements.

Mayweather Promotions has taken a lot of unfair criticism over the way that they’ve carefully matched Tank, but they what they have in him.

In Davis’ fights against Santa Cruz and 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa, he showed that’s he’s a flawed fighter and vulnerable against even faded fighters that are smaller than him.

Teofimo taking the fights Davis wouldn’t

Mayweather Promotions have received the blame for Davis for ducking Vasily Lomchenko for the last three years, but they know what would happen if they made that fight.

They know what would have happened if they put Tank in with Lomachenko, so they did the right thing by moving him like a vulnerable chess piece against easier opponents.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

The younger fighter Teofimo, 23, made Tank Davis and Mayweather Promotions look really bad in taking the Lomachenko fight and beating him last month by a 12 round decision.

The courage and the maturity that Teofimo showed in taking on and beating Lomachenko has the entire boxing world pouring praise over his head. Teofimo dared to do what Tank Davis and Mayweather Promotions wouldn’t. He took on Lomachenko and beat the brakes off of him.

There’s a lot of fighters that Tank Davis should be taking on but he won’t because his promoters aren’t interested in matching him against the elite.

These are the fighters that Tank isn’t daring to face:

  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Vasily Lomachenko
  • Shakur Stevenson
  • Devin Haney
  • Miguel Berchelt
  • Oscar Valdez
  • Gary Russell Jr

Gervonta has been fighting older guys

“Yes, he’s the most exciting, but claims that he’s # pound-for-pound are ridiculous,” said Max Kellerman on ESPN’s First Take. “He fought Yuriorkis Gamboa. A lot of guys have beaten Gamboa already.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

“He’s [Gamboa] towards the end. Now he fights Leo Santa Cruz, who is a very good fighter, a multiple division belt holder, but he’s the naturally smaller guy moving up,” Kellerman said.

“He’s not a big puncher, and yet, halfway thought that fight, you’re, ‘Who’s going to win?’ Is Tank going to go the distance? He keeps getting clipped, and then Tank ended it with a knockout of the year.

“With a bunch of great knockouts, that’s the best knockout I’ve seen. He’s [Tank Davis] the most exciting because he’s vulnerable because he’s not unbeatable.

“He’s got crazy fast twitches, he can box, but he’s so aggressive and he’s vulnerable to counters that it’s actually exciting. People forget that when you call him ‘little Mike Tyson,’ Mike Tyson when he was young and in his prime, he was so dominant.

“The reason he got knocked out by Buster Douglas in Japan is that you couldn’t sell the fight in the U.S. It was like, ‘I don’t want to see Mike Tyson in another 90-second blowout.’

“That ain’t Tank. Tank has got that Tyson-Esque fast twitches, and the power. But because he’s getting hit in the exchanges more, it’s because he’s not one of the best 5 pound-for-pound fighters in the world, at least not yet.

“You believe there’s a chance that the other guy can win, and that makes it even more exciting.

“To say nothing of the pace he sets, the level of action, the level of bombs that are thrown by Tan. As he fights better opposition, he’s guaranteed thrills for the dollars,” Kellerman said.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

It’s not enough for Tank to be an exciting fighter. Exciting fighters are a dime a dozen in boxing, and it takes more than that for a guy to be a true star. You got to be able to fight the best and prove that you’ve got the ability to win those fights.

What we’ve seen from Tank is a lot of wins over B-level fighters, and there’s no substance to his resume.

Tank Davis’s last 10 opponents

  • Leo Santa Cruz
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa
  • Ricardo Nunez
  • Hugo Ruiz
  • Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar
  • Francisco Fonseca
  • Liam Walsh
  • Marco Antonio Macias
  • Jose Pedraza
  • Guillero Avila

Teofimo more exciting than Gervonta Davis

“I do not believe he’s [Tank Davis] the most exciting fighter in boxing. I believe we saw that a couple of weeks ago in Teofimo Lopez,” said Stephen A. Smith.

“He’s got one-punch knockout power a lot like Tank Davis. He [Teofimo] can box, and we saw him go up against a guy that is considered the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

“The only debate is whether it’s him or Terence Crawford. I put Terence Crawford up there as an incredibly exciting fighter because he goes after it, he’s got knockout power, he’s got extraordinary boxing ability as well.

“And I can’t sleep on that. I love Tank, and I get your point about exciting, exciting, exciting.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

“My issue is he was going up against an exciting fighter [Leo Santa Cruz], who I did not believe could hurt him, and Tank knew that which is why he kept walking him down and stalking him pretty much through the fight.

“Tank can box, he can fight, he’s a champion, and he’s got a lot of heart, and he’s up there. But when I think about Lopez and what we saw against Lomachenko, we saw his boxing ability, we saw his elusivity, and we know what he’s got in terms of power in both hands, and he comes forward.

“It’s not as if he backs up. He stalks you too, and he comes to finish you,” Smith said about Teofimo.

“When I think about [Mike] Tyson comparisons, when I think about excitement, and when I think about those things, I think about Teofimo Lopez. That would be my choice ahead of Tank Davis,” said Smith.

It’s pretty obvious that Teofimo Lopez is not only a more accomplished fighter than Tank Davis, but he’s also more exciting to watch. Teofimo has got one-punch power, hand speed, and boxing ability.

Davis’ fights are exciting because you don’t know if he’s going to win or not. He struggles to beat limited fighters like a washed-up Santa Cruz and Gamboa.

Against Santa Cruz, Davis was barely beating him by a 48-47 on all three of the judges’ scorecards going into the sixth.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

Terence more fun to watch than Davis

“You got to like [Teofimo] Lopez,” said Ryan Clark. “Max making the argument for Tank, it made me feel a little bit different about it because I was thinking Errol Spence, I was thinking Canelo Alvarez, but those fighters are good. It’s not necessary always or a great entertaining fight because they can become so dominant.

“So Tank kind of gives you that. But I’m a Bud Crawford guy. He’s a dude that understands boxing, but it’s not about protecting himself and not making the fight entertaining or keeping myself out of harm’s way.

“I walk into a couple of punches, and I’ll get into the fight in order to get where I need to be. So every time he’s on, and you get the opportunity to watch him, you know you’re going to see a high level of boxing.

“But you’re also going to see a guy that takes some risks and puts himself in a position to get hit in order to get to his opponent.

“So I would go Bud Crawford, then Tank, and then Teofimo Lopez if I was to have to rank those guys as far as my excitement and entertainment watching them,” said Clark.

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is a lot more dominating in his performances than what we’ve seen from Tank Davis against the limited opposition he’s faced.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

Mayweather Promotions isn’t showing any desire to step Tank up against elite-level opposition and you know why. They don’t see him as being solid enough to beat the A-class fighters like Teofimo, Lomachenko, Haney, Berchelt, Valdez, and Stevenson.

Tank to have an Arturo Gatti type of career

“Teofimo and Crawford are incredibly exciting, and also action-lacked,” said Kellerman. “By the way, I also still stay Lomachenko.

“I love watching Lomachenko fight, and I’d love to see him fight Tank. Here’s what it is for me, though. When Roy Jones, Shane Mosley, and Oscar De La Hoya were all in their primes, they were usually fascinating to watch, and they were fantastic fighters, elite pound-for-pound.

“Artur Gatti was the most exciting fighter in the world because it wasn’t just what he was dishing out. It’s what was coming back. It was his vulnerability that put you on the edge of your seat, and I predict that’s the type of career Tank is going to have.

“Edge of your seat kind of fight after edge of your seat kind of fight when he fights the elite,” said Kellerman of Tank Davis.

Gatti had a fine career as a fighter that brought drama to his matches. That’s a high compliment for Kellerman to compare Tank with Gatti, and it’s fitting.

Gatti earlier in his career was unbeaten like Tank, but when he was put in with the A-level guys, that’s when he started losing. We could see the same thing with Tank once Mayweather Promotions finally matches him against his first quality opponent.

Image: Gervonta 'Tank' Davis not ready for Teofimo Lopez

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