By: Hans Themistode
From hunting world titles and big names, to becoming the hunted, Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has found himself at the top of everyone’s hit list.
The Baltimore native has heard his name muttered under the breath of fighters such as Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Gary Russell Jr. and others. But at the moment–the surly knockout artist is hard at work during training camp as he prepares for his October 24th, pay-per-view headline debut against four division world champion Leo Santa Cruz.
While Davis says his full focus is on the task at hand, matchups against most those of previously mentioned names are undoubtedly in his future. The sole exception comes from Russell Jr. Davis simply yawns whenever his name is bought into any conversation.
The skills of WBC featherweight belt holder isn’t questioned by the Baltimore native, but his lack of star power and size is.
“Gary Russell Jr. I believe is too small,” said Davis to Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast. “I don’t think that’s a fight that makes sense right now. If we are building a star then we want someone who can put butts in the seats. Gary Russell is still fighting in the small MGM. We need someone who can fill the big MGM and the T-Mobile Center.”
Russell Jr., admittedly enough, has fought at smaller venues such as the aforementioned MGM National Harbor which seats 3,000. In his last contest which took place at the PPL Center in Allentown Pennsylvania, Russell Jr. struggled to fill the 10,000 seat arena. Half of the venue was blocked off to compensate for the lack of a crowd.
With the typical lack of buzz generated for a contest featuring the WBC featherweight belt holder, Davis is in no rush to face him in the ring. But when it comes to pound for pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko on the other hand, Davis changes his tune.
“If we get past our few guys that we got ahead of us, then we can make it rock.”
For years whenever Davis was broached with a question on facing Lomachenko, his retort always reverted back to timing. Now though, the time is right to make the contest happen.
“I think it’s probably time. Definitely not this year. If not next year then the beginning of 2022.”