Floyd Mayweather Jr’s influence on Gervonta Davis is undeniable. It has helped the popular boxer “The Tank” become one of the biggest attractions in boxing. But it has also earned him a fair amount of criticism from so-called “hardcore” fighting fanatics.
On Sunday, Davis will face relatively unknown Isaac Cruz to defend his WBA (Normal) lightweight championship on Showtime’s pay-per-view channel. If you look at Davis’ colleagues, they’ve all been involved in fights with significantly tougher opponents. But no pay per view.
Teofimo Lopez let down George Kambosos Jr last week after a stunning win over Vasiliy Lomachenko for the IBF, WBO and WBA (Super) lightweight championships. Devin Haney is preparing to defend his WBC lightweight belt on Saturday against leading contender JoJo Diaz. Ryan Garcia pulled himself off the canvas to stop former Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell earlier this year. Shakur Stevenson overcame Jamel Herring to win the WBO lightweight belt. WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton found himself in the fight against WBC champion Brandon Figueroa and cut short to unify the titles.
Tank? He is facing Cruz, who stepped in after Rolando Romero was withdrawn from the fight for alleged sexual assault. No boxer is believed to pose much of a threat to Davis. However, he is one of the PPV.
But that all designed.
Davis was 25-0 with 24 knockouts and each knockout went viral. His the disbandment of former champion Leo Santa Cruz in October 2020 turn around. ONE Mario Barrios was unbeaten before last June There were celebrities from all walks of life taking to social media to explain how Davis is a must-watch TV.
“I give them what they want to see,” Davis told Sporting News of why he has become such a big hit despite criticism that he hasn’t faced the toughest challenges. . “Knockouts.”
It has worked so far. Davis has amassed more than 3 million followers on Instagram, more than Haney, Stevenson, Lopez and Fulton combined. (Ryan Garcia is on his own planet when it comes to social media with just under 9 million followers.)
“I don’t know,” he said with a laugh when asked how he got such a significant following by possessing the “it” factor. “I guess people can relate to me and what I’ve been through. They can see me. I’m just me, being me and minding my business. A lot of people don’t like that. Honestly, some people are just jealous of what I’m going on. They want to be me. Some people love it and some people hate it, but they’re all watching and that’s it. main target. “
Mayweather’s collision certainly didn’t hurt, but Davis also took care of business inside the ring. His matches are exciting and end in brutal knockouts. They intrigue the casual boxing fan. You could go as far as to say that Davis is an interesting mix between Mayweather and Mike Tyson, right up to the post-Tank controversy outside the ring.
He was indicted last March during a 2020 game and charged with two counts of domestic abuse stemming from a February 2020 incident with his girlfriend at a basketball game. University in Miami. He hasn’t been convicted, but the mayhem has become part of the draw for the Baltimore-born and raised boxer.
Controversy sell. And selling is exactly what Davis does.
Davis is expected to bring many celebrities to the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night. The unique connection Davis has with entertainers is not something he takes lightly. He understood that they wanted from him what he had received from them: entertainment.
“It feels great that I have the ability to bring all these celebrities out,” he said. “They don’t just come to me, they come to mingle with other celebrities. They don’t come just to watch a boxing match, they come to an event. And if I can continue to be who everyone is. want to meet.
“I need to continue to be that person as a fighter, an entertainer and an athlete.”
Mayweather often said of Davis’ rise that “nothing happens overnight”. But Davis is said to have surpassed Mayweather’s star power as the retired boxer is the same age as Tank. Mayweather has gone so far as to suggest that 27-year-old Davis has the potential to become a bigger star than he is, as long as he stays on track.
Some fight for legacy, others fight for money. Gervonta Davis?
“I fight for whatever makes the most sense,” he says after trying to find the words to explain the balance he’s trying to achieve. “I just want to be the boxer that people want to pay to see fights.”
And as long as the Tank continues to win, more lucrative opportunities and world title fights are sure to come.