Time for Gervonta Davis to knuckle down and focus on boxing
PPV headliner tees up huge 2023 for wayward Tank
Providing Gervonta Davis can stay on the straight and narrow for a day or two more, the Baltimore banger will face unbeaten Dominican Hector Luis Garcia this Saturday evening on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
Gifted with unworldly power in both hands, combined with bundles of skill and no small amount of adaptability, Davis has the talent to dominate divisions. Unfortunately, matters outside of the ring keep holding back his progression.
Persistent disagreements with mentor/advisor/promoter Floyd Mayweather and some additional beef with Leonard Ellerbe has caused an apparent split, leaving ‘Tank’ to go it alone. Not ideal preparation for what should be a breakthrough year.
Assuming Davis gets past Hector Luis Garcia in this all-southpaw affair in the Capital One Arena, Washington then a lucrative lightweight clash against Ryan Garcia in the spring has been all but agreed.
Despite his undoubted abilities, some of Gervonta’s extracurricular activities would imply that the 28-year-old, currently 27-0 with 25 KOs, is an odious character. Whether he’s roughing up female companions or swiftly escaping from the scene of a car accident, Davis’ name is in the media for all the wrong reasons.
Inspirational messages from the likes of Adrien Broner are hardly helpful given the fact that Davis is following a path already well-trodden by the likes of ‘AB’. Wasted talent is a crime in any sport. It’s time for Davis to grow up and fulfil his vast potential.
Acting as part of the supporting cast this weekend, perennial complainer Demetrius Andrade has ditched DAZN to take his circus act over to the PBC. Clearly a talented operator, Andrade starts fast but fades as his bouts progress.
Still calling out Canelo Alvarez, the Rhode Island southpaw seems further away than ever from a mega fight as his career spirals into irrelevance. Provided he gets past grizzled Demond Nicholson, who has the distinction of being the first man to take Edgar Berlanga to points, Andrade will likely snare a fight against another current slice of boxing irrelevance, Jermall Charlo.
While Andrade continues to complain, Jaron Ennis finds himself pitched in with the mother of all complainers ‘Karen’ Chukhadzhian. Ennis only completed four minutes of action last year and must increase his activity levels significantly.
Winning an IBF interim belt against the Ukrainian will be a good start, but he needs more fights and more rounds. Stephen Espinoza views this secondary title as a good stepping stone for Philadelphia’s ‘Boots’. That is true but if champions fought mote often then these ridiculous titles would not be necessary and Ennis would be pitched in a good old fashioned final eliminator.
Once upon a time matchmaker Tom Brown was said to be exploring a fight between Ennis and ‘Speedy’ Rashidi Ellis. Much like Ennis, Ellis has been absent from the ring for a while and underutilised after scoring a career-best win over Alexis Rocha in 2020. Ellis flexes his muscles here in a 12-rounder against wildcard Roiman Villa.
Born in Venezuela, now based in Colombia, Villa has knocked out 24 of his 25 victims so ticks all the boxes of an unknown South American import. Some fold early, while others stun a fight favourite with their power, leading to an outcome that we should’ve seen coming all along. It will be intriguing to see which category Villa fits in to.
Further down the undercard there are some interesting names in action. The Peterson brothers, Anthony and Lamont, both feature in separate six-rounders. Hopefully in the case of Lamont, who was last seen being pummelled by Sergey Lipinets back in early 2019, this is more of a hometown outing rather than the early seeds of a sustained ring return.
While the Petersons are products of the past, 19-year-old welterweight Jalil Major Hackett (4-0, 3 KOs) faces Joel Guevara over four-threes and is very much the future.
Heavy-handed Brandun Lee (26-0, 22 KOs) had his hands full with Will Madera in his most recent step-up outing. Lee gets an eight-round tick over opportunity to try and reignite his reputation as a destroyer.