By: Sean Crose
Gervonta Davis was treated to a Baltimore homecoming on Saturday night as he faced Ricardo Nunez for his WBA world super featherweight title. The 21-0 Davis was widely expected to win the night, though the 21-2 Nunez walked into the ring boasting serious stopping power. The fight was aired live on Showtime as part of it’s Showtime Championship Boxing broadcast. The evening started off, however, with a scheduled 10 round bout between the 19-1 Ladarius Miller and the 23-2-0-1 Jezreel Corrales.
The first round seemed to essentially be a feeling out process. Corrales was aggressive in the second, though Miller’s jab was able to find a home. By the third round, the bout looked to be an almost excessively careful affair. Corrales’ forward momentum, however, may have edged the round for him. The fourth round saw each man land well on occasion. The lack of activity in the fifth was frustrating to watch – until the last the few seconds, when both men unloaded.
Miller received a small cut in the sixth due to a head clash. Each man once again was able to land well in the seventh. The eighth was symptomatic of the entire fight up until that point – inaction interrupted by brief bursts of activity. The ninth was rather uneventful. A point was oddly taken from Corrales in the tenth for holding, though it seemed like Miller was the one holding more throughout the round. Miller ended up taking a split decision win.
Next up, the 29-2 Yuriorkis Gamboa faced off against the 30-3-3 Roman Martinez in a scheduled 10 round super featherweight affair. Gamboa had quite an effective first round for himself, landing well and quickly. Gamboa sent his man down – and out – with a series of shots in the second. It was an impressive showing for a skilled vet looking for another shot at glory.
It was time for the main event. Both men were crisp and sharp in the first, though Davis began to land to the body well. A thunderous left hook shook Nunez in the second. Immediately hurt, Nunez tumbled back. Davis unloaded, landing with frightening precision. Referee Harvey Dock then stepped in and stopped the fight – to the puzzlement of the Showtime broadcast team. Indeed, the fight may arguably have been stopped a bit too soon. With boxing’s recent ring related deaths, however, it’s hard to blame Dock for erring on the side of caution.
After the fight, Davis impressively offered condolences for Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Alfredo Santillan, both of who died this week from ring related injuries. “I want Tevin my next fight,” he added later, referring to fellow divisional honcho Tevin Farmer, who was fighting at the same time. “It can get made.” Floyd Mayweather, a Davis mentor, also spoke in the ring after the fight. “Here’s pay per view star,” he said. “He (Davis) has the charisma, the will to win, he has a great team.”
“We don’t know,” the all time great responded when asked if he himself would return to the ring. “Only time will tell, but right now it’s only about Tank Davis.”