By Allan Fox: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis’ fight against Mario Barrios last month generated over 200,000 pay-per-view buys on Showtime, out-performing Tank’s previous PPV match against Leo Santa Cruz last October.
Mike Coppinger reports that the Tank vs. Barrios PPV numbers will likely “fall in the 210 to 215K range,” which are good numbers nowadays.
Davis, 26, has a long way to go before he can pull in the pay-per-view numbers that Floyd Mayweaather Jr used to during the best years of his career.
Obviously, those numbers are well below Floyd Mayweather Jr’s recent fight against YouTuber Logan Paul on Triller pay-per-view, but this wasn’t anywhere near that type of fight.
Former WBA ‘regular’ light welterweight champion Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) and Tank Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) didn’t have 20 million followers on YouTube to depend on to sell their fight on Showtime PPV.
For Davis to move well beyond the 200K range in buys, he will need to fight better opposition than the guys that Mayweather Promotions have been putting him in with.
Ryan Garcia will be an excellent fight for Tank if he wants to bring in the huge numbers. The good news is that Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe favors making the fight between Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia.
Gervonta Davis is a PPV star
“I think Gervonta is great,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social. “I know myself and Leonard Ellerbe go backward and forwards. I think Gervonta is a star.
“I think he’s obviously putting bums on seats. I don’t know the pay-per-view numbers. It’s a tough market right now in America for pay-per-view, but he’s a pay-per-view fighter because he’s always in great fights.
“The argument is he’s never really boxed anyone of serious note. That might be a little unfair to Barrios because I think Barrios is a good fighter.
“But you’ve got a guy that has won three regular championships with the WBA. I’m not a massive fan of ‘We’re just going to fight in-house. We’re not going to fight anybody else.’
“If you do that, you’re ruining your opportunity to make the best fights in boxing. Like Matchroom, Floyd, PBC, whoever it is, we should want to make the best fights,” said Hearn.
Generating 200,000 buys is considered a pay-per-view star for this era, but not in the last generation. Guys like Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao routinely brought in over 1 million buys each time they fought.
The reason those numbers aren’t possible now is a combination of factors, starting the piracy. Illegal streams bite into profits in pay-per-view, but also the saturation of too many PPV events.
When you’re getting basic fights between Tank and a little-known champion like Barrios, it’s going to hurt the PPV numbers.
That’s why Mayweather Promotions must begin matching Tank against better competition because they’re holding him back and stunting his earning potential.
If Tank had his eyes open and understood how weak match-making hurt his earning potential, he probably wouldn’t be happy about it.
Tank missing out on big fights
“We all know our jobs as promoters are to deliver the best fights for our platform and our network and our broadcaster,” Hearn continued. “But at the same time, you [Floyd Mayweather Jr] stand up there at the press conference and basically tell the fans, ‘We’re not going to make the best fights that you want to see because they’re not signed with us,’ it’s not a great look.
“When you look at the fights out there for Gervonta Davis, firstly, there’s Ryan Garcia fight; it’s a huge fight. The Devin Haney fight is a huge fight, and the Teofimo Lopez fight is a huge fight.
“That’s three names that are working for other platforms. But at the same time, we should all be trying to work together.
“This is what I say about Canelo and Plant. If you want to do that fight on FOX, it’s no problem. I’m a big admirer of Gervonta Davis; I thought it was a great fight.
“Props to Barrios as well. I guess if you’re breaking down Tank’s resume, there’s a lot to do, but he can do it because he’s a tremendous fighter,” said Hearn.
Hearn would like to see Mayweather Promotions match Tank against the top guys, but they haven’t done it thus far. Gervonta has been in the pro ranks for eight years now, and he still hasn’t been matched against the best by his promoters.
It’s likely the pattern of match-making we’ve seen in the past for Gervonta will continue for the remainder of his career unless he leaves Mayweather Promotions.