The American has just become a multi-champion thanks to a shocking knockout against Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.
Money is seductive. The exhibition, too. This is why many boxers try to look in the mirror of Floyd Mayweather, the boxer who has best paired tickets and visibility in the 21st century. Several have been identified as potential heirs of the multi-time American champion, the athlete with the highest income in the last decade, according to Forbes magazine. But only one seems to have the blessing of Money: your compatriot Gervonta Davis, a relentless, tongue-in-cheek and outgoing knockout, who since this Saturday is the WBA super featherweight and lightweight champion thanks to a shocking knockout against the Mexican Leo Santa Cruz.
Baltimore was the scene of the multi-award winning The Wire, considered one of the best series in history. Beyond fiction, Baltimore, located on the east coast and only 60 kilometers from Washington DC, is the American city that in recent years registered the highest homicide rates. In 2017, the rate was 55.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, ten times higher than that of the entire United States (5.3 per 100,000). In that ecosystem of extreme violence, Davis was born and raised.
Boxing was the way that one of his uncles found for little Gervonta, just five years old, to channel some of that violence that he inspired and exuded. And he was the one who channeled him when his mother, entangled in problematic drug use, lost her possession. He flirted with danger, survived shootings and watched some of his first gym buddies die as his hobby career progressed. “Baltimore is worse than what they saw in The Wire”, Admitted in an interview.
After winning the Golden Gloves national championship in 2012 and closing an amateur career with a record of 206 wins and 15 losses, Gervonta Davis O Tank (Tank, nickname given to him by one of his first coaches because of the size of his head) he debuted as a professional in February 2013 at just 18 years old: he dispatched Desi Williams in the first round. Since then, he has only chained wins and knockouts.
In a universe in which the transformation of a promise into a star requires not only talent, but also proper management, the pivotal moment in Davis’ career occurred in mid-2015, when his path crossed that of Mayweather, whom met during a training camp for Adrien Broner, another bad boy who had the approval of Floyd, who later ended up distancing himself on not very good terms.
The romance was immediate: the multi-champion added him to the ranks of Mayweather Promotions and just a couple of months later included him on the card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which had as its main attraction the victory of Money before the Haitian Andre Berto.
“Floyd took me in and taught me a lot about boxing, but also about everything that happens outside the ring. I’m lucky to have his support, “Davis thanked him in March 2016.” I see him as a son. And he is a very explosive boy. He will fight for a world title soon, ”predicted the man who would lead him to fame.
Mayweather was not wrong: Tank He obtained the super featherweight belt of the International Boxing Federation in January 2017, when he knocked out Puerto Rican José Pedraza. A year later, he won the WBA crown after beating the Buenos Aires man Jesus Marcelo Andrés Cuellar. Last September, after his second defense (he beat the Panamanian Ricardo Nunez), vacated the title to upgrade.
All that journey he did with Mayweather, beyond some ridiculousness that arose in 2018 along the path that the explosive Gervonta’s career was following. There was even speculation that their fates would divorce, but for now they are still together. The bond that unites them is not only administrative: Floyd usually goes into the ring before his fights, advises it, speaks into his ear, something extremely unusual between a promoter and a boxer.
Davis also easily passed the challenge of making the jump to 135 pounds (61,237 kilos), a category that has as its maximum exponent the American of Honduran origin Teofimo Lopez, who dethroned the Ukrainian Vasiliy Lomachenko. His first big test was overcome by winning the regular WBA title with a 12th round knockout of Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Mayweather has already anticipated that the American, undefeated, fast, aggressive and extremely powerful (he won 23 of his 24 fights before the limit), will hold a new fight before going for López, his next big goal in a career that for now has no ceiling.