By: Hans Themistode
Gervonta Davis has heard his fair share of praise. From words such as knockout artist to showstopper, the Baltimore native has reason to blush over the nonstop compliments tossed in his directions. He does however, sport a sheepish look when words such as fat, lazy and uncommitted are lobbied his way as well.
The two division world champion has had his issues making weight several times over. A 2017 matchup against Francisco Fonseca saw Davis drop his 130 pound world title on the scale’s. Just last year, Davis decided it was time to move up to 135 pounds. Yet, even with five extra pounds of wiggle room, he came in a bit on the heavy side.
Now, with the biggest fight of his life taking place on October 24th, against four division world champion Leo Santa Cruz at 130 pounds, Davis is taking extra precautions.
“I actually moved my camp to Vegas,” said Davis to Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast. “I did a longer camp. Normally I’ll do an eight week camp but I started 12 weeks out. I just want to be prepared for Leo. I know he is going to bring a lot to the table.”
For Davis, before COVID-19 barricaded windows and padlocked the doors of boxing venues, the Baltimore native made constant appearances at fights. What was most eye-catching to fans wasn’t the Jewelry that flooded his neck and wrists. Nor was it the designer clothes. No, it was more so the beer belly that Davis flaunted while walking around the venue.
Now however, he has considerably trimmed down due to his longer than normal camp. The questions surrounding his training methods and time off activities were warranted. But Davis wants the blame pinned on his shoulders, no one else’s.
“I don’t have a discipline problem,” explained Davis. “Sometimes as boxers we enjoy ourselves too much for a long period of time. You have to stay on top of your grind. When I don’t make weight its because if I have to lose two pounds then I’ll wait til the last day. I’ll think that I’m just going to lose it easily, but it really doesn’t work like that. When you get down to those last couple of pounds it gets a little harder. It’s never because I haven’t trained the right way or because of my coaches, it’s because of me.”
For the critics of Davis though, seeing is better than believing. On too many occasions the Baltimore native has needed his handlers to grab the nearest towel as he strips off his underwear in an attempt to make weight.
With a chance to headline his first pay-per-view, along with severe, although unclear weight penalties should he come in above 130 pounds, Davis has not only doubled down on his prediction of making weight, but he’s also confident that no extra time will be required.
“I’m definitely going to make the weight, my life is depending on it. It’s going to take me one time.”
When watching Davis make his lone trek to the 135 pound division in his last ring outing, it was clear that he wasn’t the same fighter. He labored around the ring and gassed out during the midway point of his matchup against the 38 year old Yuriorkis Gamboa. Shots that would usually leave his opponents in a vegetative state, did little to affect his opponent on the night. Although he got the job in his normal destructive manner, it was ostensible that 135 isn’t in the comfort zone of Davis.
“I really didn’t like fighting at 35, I like fighting at 30. I’m way quicker and can throw a lot of punchers. I feel like 130 is a weight where I can become a big star.”