By: Hans Themistode
With each deleterious right or left hand that ended the night for a Gervonta Davis opponent, an immediate mountain of praise soon accompanied it. Yet, following his latest win against long faded multiple division titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa, that aforementioned mountain of praise turned into whispers of doubt.
Coming in his contest against the 38 year old late last year, Davis was largely expected to take care of business in his normal explosive fashion. As things kicked off on the night, the Baltimore native seemed on his way to doing just that. After buzzing his man in the first round, Davis floored him in the second. Gamboa, to his credit, managed to not only survive the knockdown, but also picked himself up off the ground in the eighth as well.
The result of his resilience led Davis to hearing the bell ring to signal the start of the 12th round for the first time in his career. The end result however, was the same as the vast majority of his contests as he found a way to close the show in the final round. But with Gamboa fighting the majority of the match with a torn achilles, coupled with Davis asking his corner “what’s wrong with my body?” during the half way mark, the two division titlist has heard nonstop criticism.
The 25 year old Davis may have been ecstatic to leave the ring with the win, but with the biggest fight of his career against Leo Santa Cruz taking place tomorrow night on Showtime Pay-Per-View, he’s anxious to close the door on any doubts of his star power.
“I’m definitely motivated but I’m more so hungry and appreciative for the position I’m in,” said Davis during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “I’m just more hungry because I feel like I left a lot on the plate for people to say in my last fight. So I just want to redeem myself and show them that I’m number one in the sport. After this fight I think people will say that yeah he’s number one.”
With his first Pay-Per-View headlining event on tap, the preparation of the two division champion has been different. No longer is he training around familiar faces in his hometown of Baltimore. Instead, a lightbulb has gone off in the 25 year old’s head. Why should he stay within his comfort zone, when he believes the best to ever do it in Floyd Mayweather, could be within arms reach on a daily basis.
“I know for sure that wasn’t me,” said Davis as he continued to explain his lackluster showing against Gamboa. “So it’s really about me Maning up and stepping up to the plate. That’s why I made the decision with my team to come to Vegas and train because I know that the best trainer and boxer is in Vegas. As far as having him in my corner and in my camp with me, it was amazing. I’m grateful to have him.”
The rocky relationship between the pair has been well documented. Davis, on multiple occasions, has verbalized his issues with his promoter. Even going as far as to say “no comment,” when asked what grade he would give Mayweather as a promoter in 2018.
Fast forward to today however, and everything seems to be water under the bridge. The pair has been seen on multiple occasions working together and seem to be on great terms outside of the gym as well. Now that the two have seemingly gotten through their rough patch, Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is happy to have him on his side.
“It’s a lot of fighters that come through Mayweather’s gym so I was definitely happy and grateful to be apart of that. Come Saturday night I’m just here to do what I do best and that’s put on a great performance and become the star that I am.”
In terms of how he plans on attacking his 32 year old, four division opponent this Saturday night, Davis didn’t seem too keen on going for the kill from the opening bell.
“I’m definitely not looking for a knockout. I know in fighting Santa Cruz, if you don’t get him out there then you might get stopped due to his punch volume so I’m definitely not looking for the knockout. But I will put on a great performance.”