Gervonta Davis and Yuriorkis Gamboa tangle in Atlanta for the WBA Lightweight Title
By Damarus Stephens, www.whatsgoodinsports.com
Gervonta Davis has quickly become one of the best draws in boxing. Despite failing to make weight for the 2nd time in his career, the Baltimore native still put 14k plus butts in the seats. He appears to be one of those once in a generation type fighter. Tonight, in Atlanta he was tested by an older but still game boxer in Yuriorkis Gamboa.
In the lead up to the fight, not much was said by the Cuban native except that he wanted to take Davis to the later rounds. He indeed delivered on that goal but it came at a great cost. During a knockdown in the second round, Gamboa seemed to point to his right side as he was getting up from the canvas. He went down from a left hook from Tank but did not seem to be all that hurt. He would finish the round but, in the corner, he began to complain to his corner pointing to his right leg and foot. As the Showtime cameras zoomed in on the corner it seemed that he would not be able to continue the fight. The packed crowd began to erupt with disapproval as they viewed the Jumbotron overhead. Gamboa’s corner would talk him into continuing the fight though despite the issue.
It was a valiant effort from the 38-year-old former Olympic medalist but it was not hard to tell that he could not put anything behind his punches. He would be knocked down again in the 8th round but would survive the round and continue boxing.
Meanwhile, Davis would show patience and even got caught by a 3 punch combo in the 7th round. Davis said after the fight that he purposely abandoned the jab because he wanted to do some things differently and also show Gamboa something different. Tank also acknowledge that he knew he was in with a great fighter because Gamboa was able to take some of his best shots. Davis also did a great job of not letting Gamboa get under his skin as he did do some holding and clenching in attempts to keep Davis from being able to land in close quarters.
The 12th and deciding round saw both fighters slugging it out but would end with a Davis uppercut that sent Gamboa to the canvas yet again. That punch came on the end of 2 previous shots that stunned and set up the KO. Though Gamboa did not seem to be out of it the referee in charge called a halt to the bout giving Davis his 23rd victory and his previously vacated WBA World Lightweight title.
In the post-fight press conference, Davis said 2020 would be a big year for him. I asked if there was a certain fighter, he wanted to face in 2020, Davis did not name any fighter specifically but said: “there is no safety on this Glock”. It will be interesting going forward to see who will step inside the ring with this young fighter who might just be the right combination of skill and power to pack arenas throughout the world for years to come.
In other action, Jean-Pascal was able to win a decision over Badou Jack to retain his WBA World Light Heavyweight belt. The crowd on hand did not approve of the outcome perhaps because Jack won the second half of the fight and had a knockdown in the 12th. However, Pascal won the early rounds also having a knockdown in the 4th. After the fight, both fighters stated that they felt they won the fight. Leonard Ellerby spoke at the post-fight presser saying he felt so bad for Jack and that he got robbed yet again.
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