If Gervonta Davis is not a bonafide star already, he is certainly heading in that direction having made another statement of intent on Saturday night.
Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) provided the answers that many had posed on whether his power would be as effective at a higher weight class by stopping Mario Barrios in 11 rounds in front of an engrossed crowd at the State Farm Arena, Atlanta to become WBA ‘Regular’ Super Lightweight world champion.
Following a slow start, the 26-year-old exploded during the eighth round, dropping Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) twice who was able to weather the storm and fight back until the 11th round.
Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr warned his protégé at the end of the ninth round that he was trailing on SHOWTIME’s unofficial scorecard, prompting an aggressive ‘Tank’ to search for the finish, which duly came two rounds later.
The Baltimore native celebrated in style backflipping off the ropes, as he became the ninth man to hold world titles at 130lbs, 135lbs and 140lbs, joining an acclaimed list which includes Julio Cesar Chavez, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya and his own promoter.
Davis wasn’t drawn on who could be next for him, with Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe confirming that he would fight before the end of the year.
However, Mayweather insisted that Tank would not be crossing the street and will fight someone in the Premier Boxing Champions or Mayweather Promotions stable, ruling out highly-anticipated meetings with the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko (Top Rank), Ryan Garcia (Golden Boy) and Teofimo Lopez (Top Rank).
A showdown with undisputed Super Lightweight king, Josh Taylor was unlikely beforehand with the Scot on course for a mandatory defence against Jack Catterall, but is now out of the picture with the 28-year-old signed with Top Rank, whilst Devin Haney is reportedly working on a new deal with Matchroom Boxing, after the expiration of his contract following his win over Jorge Linares.
“Our thing is this, we work smarter, not harder,” Mayweather said post-fight.
“So we keep everything in-house, Mayweather Promotions, PBC, we’re all one family.
“We’re not going to go nowhere and make another company great. So we got plenty of fighters at 140, 135, 130, and we’ll continue to fight the fighters we got to fight.”
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So who could Gervonta Davis fight with Mayweather vowing to keep his next fight ‘in-house’?
If Davis decided to stay at 140lbs, then Regis Prograis appears one of two viable options.
A former WBA ‘Super’ Light Welterweight champion with just one defeat to Taylor, Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) has spoken of his desire to win another world title at 140lbs before potentially moving up to Welterweight.
The pair traded words on social media earlier this year and the 32-year-old warned his compatriot in a video posted on Twitter after his win over Barrios that he would win by knockout if they ever met.
— Rougarou (@RPrograis) June 27, 2021
“Good fight Tank, solid opponent but he ain’t me,” Prograis said.
“So don’t you ever f****** say my name ever again, because I guarantee I’ll smash you.
“And I guarantee you, Floyd and Leonard Ellerbe and none of them n***** ain’t going to let you close to me.
“So, don’t say my name ever again, because I’ll f****** knock you out little boy.”
Ellerbe previously said that his charge is excited by the prospect of facing the New Orleans man, whilst claiming that Mayweather is “ecstatic” about the possibility.
Prograis, who beat Ivan Redkach in April, is not signed to a promoter, but did sign a one-fight deal with PBC when he stopped Juan Heraldez on the undercard of Tank’s victory over Leo Santa Cruz in October.
Fighting Davis would give him the opportunity to claim a world title at 140lbs, whilst giving Tank the chance to further enhance his reputation with a victory over an elite Super Lightweight, although Prograis is also looking at a showdown with Mikey Garcia last week.
Should Davis decide to look elsewhere at 140lbs, then Mikey Garcia would also be credible opposition.
Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) has done just about it all in the sport having held world titles in four weight classes and challenged unified Welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr albeit losing by decision.
The 33-year-old remained at 147lbs, beating Jesse Vargas in his last outing in February 2020 and has not fought at Super Lightweight since a points win over Sergey Lipinets in 2018.
At his best, Garcia is a handful and whilst a meeting with Prograis would be a potential barnburner, there would be certainly no complaints if he faces Tank.
Garcia is not currently tied to a promotional company, therefore the prospect of it appears more plausible.
Should Tank decide to drop down to Lightweight for only the second time in career then a clash with Rolando Romero could be an alternative.
Romero (13-0, 11 KOs) is the number one ranked contender with the WBA, with Davis holding the WBA ‘Regular’ crown which he won with a 12th round TKO over Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2019 and like Prograis has previously spoken of a future fight with him.
‘Rollies’ has built an unbeaten 13-fight record, with 11 knockouts and will defend his WBA interim crown against Austin Dulay on the undercard of the undisputed Super Welterweight title clash between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano on July 17 in Texas.
A fight appears relatively straightforward to make, with the 25-year-old also signed to Mayweather Promotions and could also be a fight called for by the WBA, given his ranking.
Romero has not fought anyone of Tank’s level and would be making a marked step-up in class should he face him, although it would be an explosive match-up on paper, pitting together two heavy hitters.
Tank has spent the majority of his career at 130lbs and could look to defend his WBA ‘Super’ title against rising star Chris Colbert.
Potential unifications with Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez appear almost non-starters with both tied to Top Rank and thus Colbert (15-0, 6 KOs), who is aligned with PBC could receive his opportunity.
‘Prime Time’ is undefeated in his first 15 professional fights, displaying speed, slickness and ring IQ throughout his career thus far.
Whilst his record suggests he isn’t a puncher with just six knockouts on his slate, the 24-year-old appears to carry deceptive power and will defends his WBA interim belt against former world title challenger, Tugstsogt Nyambayar on July 3.
Like Romero, Colbert is lacking the experience at the highest level and would certainly be the underdog heading into a bout with Davis.