Tank Davis’ promoter Ellerbe on Josh Taylor: ‘Nobody knows who the f*** he is’
By Dan Ambrose: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe wanted to clear the air about his comments last week about undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor not being well known enough in the U.S for him to be someone that Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis would fight.
For Taylor to get a fight against Tank Davis, he will have to build his profile in the U.S. It’s as simple as that. However, with Taylor heading to the 147-lb division soon, likely, he’ll never get an opportunity to fight Tank during his career.
But there are still great fights for Taylor in the 147-lb division, even if he doesn’t get a shot at fighting Tank.
Ellerbe says he wasn’t trying to disrespect or demean the unbeaten Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) s a fighter. All he was saying is that Taylor, 30, isn’t a draw in the United States right now, and he’s not someone that will bring a heck of a lot to a fight with Tank (25-0, 24 KOs).
Ellerbe points out that many British fighters have built their profile in the U.S by competing there regularly.
We hadn’t seen that from Taylor yet, as he’s fought mainly in the UK during his career until recently when he came to the U.S to fight former WBC/WBO 140-lb champion Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas, Nevada.
That was only the fourth fight for Taylor in the U.S during his six-year professional career. His other fights in the United States took place earlier in his career before becoming a world champion.
Gervonta is the A-side
“I just know we’re going to fight the top fighters out there, the best fighters, and continue to give the fans what they want to see,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe to Behind The Gloves on Gervonta Davis.
“None of these guys bring the same things Tank does because he’s on another level. He’s the only pay-per-view fighter out there around his weight class.
“So obviously, he’s [Gervonta] the A-side in any situation. So the guys have to continue to do what they’re doing and continue to raise their profiles to make the fans want to see them matched up with a guy like Tank Davis.
“It’s easy to say, ‘I want to fight this guy,’ but when no one knows who you are. Somebody took a comment I made about [Josh] Taylor the other day, and it was no disrespect to him.
“I was just saying that they [Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez] had a unification fight, and there was like a thousand tickets sold. He’s [Taylor] a great draw in Scotland and places he’s drawn, but that’s overseas,” said Ellerbe.
It sounds like Ellerbe will allow Tank Davis to fight the other elite fighters at 130, 135, and 140. Floyd Mayweather Jr said last weekend that Tank would only be fighting Mayweather Promotions and PBC fighters, but it appears that’s not the case.
It’s quite possible that Mayweather commented on him wanting to keep Tank fighting strictly in-house fights to play the villain role and get the media talking about him rather than Tank.
Josh Taylor isn’t as important as some of the popular lightweights that Mayweather Promotions could match Tank Davis up against. If Gervonta fought Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, or Vasily Lomachenko, the fight would attract much attention from the boxing world.
Nobody knows who the f*** Josh Taylor is in the U.S
“All the greats that were British fighters, they made their way over to the United States to raise their profile,” said Ellerbe.
Right now, nobody even knows who he [Josh Taylor] is.
“But he does bring hardcore on the table if you were going down the road to fight somebody like that. But, again, if Tank didn’t have any belts, he’s still going to sell out.
“He’s going to continue to challenge himself, and that’s why we don’t call out names. I just wanted to clear that up. This was no disrespect to Taylor, but nobody knows who the f*** he is in the United States.
“He’s the top guy because he has all the hardcore [140-lb titles]. So if we choose to fight a British fighter overseas, what is Tank going to do?
“He’s going to sell out a stadium because the British fans, they love Tank and they love boxing. So we’re going to do a big fight overseas,” Ellerbe said.
The hardcore boxing fans know who Josh Taylor is in the U.S, and he’s well-respected. You can argue that the U.S fans know who Taylor is more than they did Mario Barrios.
Tank will fight all the top guys out there
“I’m confident we’re going to fight all the top guys out there,” said Ellerbe about his view that Tank will eventually fight the elite fighters.
“Listen, some of these guys may not win their next fights because their fights aren’t that impressive. I’m not talking about Haney.
“I’m just saying that’s how it is. You have to wait and see how things play out because Tank delivers.
“In the next few months. He’ll definitely fight before the end of the year,” Ellerbe said about when Tank Davis will fight next. Everyone wants to see this young man fight again in their cities because they know he’s a tremendous draw, and he gives the fans exactly what he wants to see.
Gervonta doesn’t have to play the villain role
“Floyd [Mayweather Jr] plays a major role in so many things behind the scenes. He’s a lot more humble.
“The beauty of that as a pay-per-view star is, he doesn’t have to be a villain. People love him. He’s starting to break out of his shyness. People are starting to see more of his personality,” said Ellerbe.
It would be a good idea for Ellerbe and Mayweather to allow Tank to fight the top guys while he’s still young.
If they wait too long before they start matching him against the elite, he might be too old to beat them. So for Tank to realize his earning potential, he must start fighting the elite guys now.
No one had ever heard of Marios Barrios before he signed on to fight Tank Davis, and that was a waste of his time.
The PPV buys that Tank vs. Barrios brings in will likely nothing compared to what they would be if Davis fought someone like Ryan Garcia, Haney, Teofimo, or Lomahenko.
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