By: Hans Themistode
At just 25 years of age, WBA lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis has a lot to be proud of. He’s held world titles in two separate weight classes, has sold out multiple arenas and on October 24th, the Baltimore native will make his pay-per-view headlining debut against Leo Santa Cruz.
Yet, even with opponent after opponent needing immediate medical attention following a matchup with him, Davis believes he hasn’t even come close to going into his full bag of tricks.
With secondary fighters littered across his resume, Davis has barely needed to break a sweat. There was never a need to bring his very best to the table in any of his 23 pro fights. But come October 24th, the two division world champion fully expects to switch into second gear.
“Leo Santa Cruz is tough,” said Davis to Mike Coppinger on The Pug and Copp Boxing Show podcast. “He’s going to bring the best out of me. He’s not someone that is going to sit there and just try to survive. He’s going to actually fight, so it should be a great match.”
Great would be one of the last words used in associated with a Gervonta Davis contest. With all but one of his career fights reaching the judges scorecards, the two division champion has made it look easy inside of the ring. Some of his success can be attributed to the work he has put in while no is looking.
During the build up of all of his matchups, Davis can be found in an empty gym wearing out each and every heavy bag in the facility without fear of something coming back in return. But while the constant repetitions have yielded results, Davis finds his solo gym sessions and fight night opponents all too familiar.
“I’m just excited to be fighting someone that’s not going to be just a punching bag. I definitely have to train hard. We know that Leo is a future hall of famer, so I know that he is going to come to fight.”
His opponents lack of interest in sitting in the pocket with him was especially evident in his last ring appearance, at least according to Davis.
Former multiple division world champion Yuriokis Gamboa met Davis at 135 pounds in December of 2019. With plenty of mileage on his 38 year old odometer, coupled with a torn achilles in the second round, the Cuban born native seemed gun shy throughout much of their contest. His defensive approach didn’t win him any rounds, but it did extend Davis to the 12th round for the first time in his career. The Baltimore native still managed to end the night in the final round, but he hears the chatter surrounding his performance. For Davis, the explanation as to why he found it so difficult to get rid of his man was simple.
“Gamboa was trying to survive,” explained Davis. “You know when somebody is just trying to survive they don’t throw as much. It was hard for me to catch him with shots, but with Leo, he’s going to come ready to fight.”