Gervonta Davis won’t fight Josh Taylor – says Leonard Ellerbe

By Boxing News - 06/26/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions says Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis will NOT be fighting undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor because he’s not an attraction in the U.S it’s not worth it for the fight to be made.

Interestingly, Ellerbe admits that the approximately 15,000 fans in attendance on Saturday night for the Tank Davis vs. WBA 140-lb champion Mario Barrios have no clue who Mario is, nor do they care.

According to Ellerbe, the fans that will be in attendance aren’t even aware of Gervonta’s past accomplishments.

In other words, they’re casual boxing fans who want to see Tank fight because they know he scores knockouts.

Ellerbe says that only 100 people out of the 15,000 that will be at Saturday’s Davis vs. Barrios know who Josh Taylor is.

Leonard is obviously exaggerating, but even if it were true, it would mean more for Tank’s career to be fighting the undisputed 140-lb champion Taylor than a secondary WBA champion Barrios.

Tank would receive much more credit from fans, the media, and other fighters if he were to beat Taylor,

Josh Taylor dismissed as a future option for Tank

“Yesterday, it was ‘Josh Taylor is the undisputed champion’ or something along those lines,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe to the media on Friday in dismissing Taylor as a future opponent for Tank Davis.

Image: Gervonta Davis won't fight Josh Taylor - says Leonard Ellerbe

“But when it comes to attractions in the United States, he means nothing other than to the diehard fans. That’s no knock on Taylor.

“I’m sure he’s big in Scotland and has sold out venues over there, but it’s a different world in the United States. We’re going to have 14,000 to 15,000 here on Saturday night.

“I assure you if there are even 100 people that know who he is, I’ll be surprised,” Ellerbe said about Josh Taylor.

“Out of those 100 people, half of them will be the Showtime people, the camera people, the production people, and then a view of the fans in the venue.

“No one even knows who he is in the United States. He’s a tremendous fighter, but when it comes to the U.S and being an attraction, it’s different.

“That’s why the biggest British fighters have found a way to come over here and build their name so they can become global attractions, and it’s a big difference,” Ellerbe said.

It’s too bad Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions don’t want to allow Gervonta to fight Taylor for his IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO 140-lb titles. We’re talking about Tank building his brand in the boxing world.

If Tank wants to make the money that Canelo Alvarez is making one day, he can’t shy away from taking risks.

Gervonta won’t be campaigning at 140, says Leonard

“Tank is taking a risk jumping up two weight classes and fighting a very dangerous guy,” Ellerbe continued.

Image: Gervonta Davis won't fight Josh Taylor - says Leonard Ellerbe

“It was a wonderful opportunity for him [Gervonta] to move up two weight classes and fight a very dangerous guy, Mario Barrios.

“Again, he would be commended for doing that, not talking about why he’s not fighting Josh Taylor.

“The kid [Tank] just fought at 130 lbs in his last fight against Leo Santa Cruz. He will not be campaigning at 140.

“No, he’s not campaigning at 140. It’s an opportunity if a big fight comes about and it makes sense; we’re going to go for it.

“Tank is a 30, 35-pounder, and we’re going to fight everybody we can. We can’t fight everybody tomorrow.

“We got to fight everybody one by one, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said Ellerbe.

Tank doesn’t need to campaign at 140 to fight the best guy in the weight class in Taylor.

Ellerbe and Mayweather Promotions could have set it up to be a one-and-done fight for Tank. He could have fought Josh for his four belts and returned to the 130 or 135-lb divisions.

Leonard: Fans don’t know or care about Barrios

“Out of the 14,000, 15,000 people we’re going to have here tomorrow night, most of them couldn’t even tell you what kind of champion Tank is, what kind of champion he has been, and for that matter, who is Mario Barrios,” said Ellerbe.

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“They don’t know, and they don’t care. All that matters is this guy [Tank Davis] has been the face of our culture, and the younger generation has gravitated towards him because he gives them exactly what they want to see. That’s on a consistent basis, and they don’t mind paying their money to see him.

“Let’s flip the script. Teofimo, for example. That’s like him moving up [to weight classes] to welterweight fighting Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter.

“Or they going to criticize him for doing that? Or are they going to be talking about if he beats him, he should be fighting Errol Spence.

“It’s only a 12-lb difference. Tank’s moving up 10 lbs. What’s the difference,” said Ellerbe.

The fans probably don’t know Barrios anymore than Josh Taylor, which is why Tank should have fought for the undisputed championship at 140.