Davis Impresses His Hometown Crowd
Damarus Stephens (East Coast correspondent), whatsgoodinsports.com
Gervonta “Tank” Davis has been billed as the future of boxing by Floyd Money Mayweather. On July 27th in front of a hometown crowd of more than 14,000 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD, he would get his chance to prove it. Many wondered how he might perform against a gamed challenger in Ricardo “Cientifico” Nunez (21-2 19 KO). Nunez, a Panama native, came into this fight having won 10 bouts in a row. Despite all the distractions of a hometown fight, Davis showed he was more than ready.
Royal Farms Arena, which is located in downtown Baltimore blocks from Camden Yards and the Inner Harbor, was rocking for Davis’ long-awaited homecoming. The city last hosted a championship boxing match on July 1940. On that night it was Baltimore native Harry Jeffra who defended and defeated Spider Armstrong to retain his featherweight crown.
The lead up to this fight was very fulfilling for Davis who received a key to the city from Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. He also threw out the first pitch for an Orioles game on July 20th. Davis comes from humble beginnings growing up in West Baltimore and often speaks about overcoming the struggle. This fight though didn’t pose any struggles. Many hometown fans came wanting and expecting a knockout and “Tank” delivered.
From the opening bell, both fighters went thru the usual feeling out process but that only lasted about 30 seconds. Both fighters then began trying to establish their dominance. The first round ended with both fighters seeming to have found their range. The question going into round 2 would be who would land the first clean hard shot. That came from Davis with a left hook that found its mark and dropped Nunez for the fight’s first knockdown. Nunez seemed to be upset with himself for getting caught by the punch.
Davis stayed on the offensive and soon after the end would come. Davis would stun Nunez again forcing him into the ropes. From there “Tank” began to unleash body and head combinations catching Nunez with a punch that jarred his head way back. The referee then jumped in and called a halt to the action with what some may call a premature stoppage. The fight ended midway thru the 2nd round. The crowd erupted in joy as “Tank” gave them what they so desperately wanted, a vicious KO!
In the post-fight presser, Floyd spoke of possible fights against Gary Russell, Yuriorkis Gamboa (had a KO win on the undercard) and Tevin Farmer. That is predicated on all these fighters continuing to win and also who stays at 130 or moves up to 135. Floyd also mentioned that his ultimate goal is to turn Davis into the next great PPV fighter in the sport. He also stated that he wants to help Gervonta break his 50-0 mark. Floyd Mayweather just might be right as the future is looking very bright for this young star. Davis showed great focus and a skill set that is going to cause a lot of boxer’s trouble down the road.
In other action earlier that evening, fight fans enjoyed a toe to toe war between super bantamweights Isau Duenez 1-8-1 and newcomer Javon Cambell 0-0. Cambell won his pro debut by unanimous decision in the 4 rounder. Also, in his pro debut Super Featherweights DeMichael Harris 0-0 faced Terrance Harris, which he won by 1st round KO by DeMichael Harris. Shawn West then faced Kenny Robles 6-1 (3 KOs) in a very competitive super lightweight bout. The fight was won by Kenny Robles by way of unanimous decision. Super featherweights Jayson Velez 28-5-1 (20 KOs) and Hector Suarez 12-10-2 (6
KOs) was unable to go the distance, as the fight was stopped in the 7th by the ringside physician due to a cut over the eye of Suarez giving Velez the TKO victory.
Showtime Live Streamed the next three bouts starting with Super Lightweights Kareem Martin 12-2-1 (3 KOs) vs Luis Avila 8-13-3 (5 KOs). Martin looked good and beat Avila into submission. As Avila quit on the stool at the end of the 3rd round giving Martin the TKO win. Super Flyweights Dylan Price 8-0 (6KOs) then faced Samuel Gutierrez 16-23-6 (6 KOs). Price got the hard-earned unanimous decision in that fight. Super lightweights Mark Hawkins 15-0 (9 KOs) and Johnathan Steele 9-4-1 (6 KOs) were matched up. Hawkins, who is also a Baltimore native, was able to get a unanimous decision win over former Marine Jonathan Steele. The final fight before the broadcast began featured super featherweights Malik Warren in his pro debut vs Davonte McCowen 0-0-1. This fight ended with a KO at the end of the 2nd round as Baltimore native Malik Warren wins his pro debut.
The main undercard and showtime broadcast fights featured lightweights Ladarius Miller 19-1 (6 KOs) vs Jezzrel Corrales 23-2 (9 KOs). Though this was a difficult fight to score Corrales got the decision despite having a point taken away for holding in the 10th and final round. In the lead-up fight to the main event lightweights, Yuriorkis Gamboa 29-2 (17 KOs) and Roman Martinez 30-3-3 (18 KOs) faced off. Gamboa looked like his younger self making easy work of Martinez with left hooks and body shots. He finished Martinez off in the 1st round with a left hook combo on the ropes for his first KO victory in 5 years. We will be very interested to see where Gamboa goes from here.
Although Davis polished off his competition in a couple quick rounds, this was a great night of boxing that made the homecoming of Davis being a big success. What are your thoughts on Gervonta “Tank” Davis’ Q rating as a boxer? Will he become the star of boxing as Mayweather believes? Can he handle the pressure of becoming the face of boxing?
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