Gervonta Davis


Esther Lin/Showtime

If he has it his way, Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) will drop back down in weight after his upcoming fight, which will be contested at 140 pounds. 

The 26-year-old Davis, a native of Baltimore, currently holds the WBA (Super) title at 130 pounds and a secondary version of the WBA title at 135 pounds. On June 26, however, he’ll be moving up to take on Mario Barrios, who holds a secondary title at 140 pounds, in the main event of a Showtime pay-per-view from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. 

According to “Tank”, the decision to move up in weight and compete against a naturally larger fighter in Barrios was driven by the challenge it represents. 

“Everybody was complaining about me fighting smaller guys, so we said why not go up to 140 and test myself against a young lion like Barrios,” Davis told Brian Custer on a recent edition of The Last Stand Podcast. “We all want to challenge ourself to be great as a fighter. That’s basically what I’m doing. Challenging myself to make sure I think I am what I say I am.”

Coming off a thrilling sixth-round stoppage victory over Leo Santa Cruz this past October, the unbeaten Davis, who owns a near-perfect knockout rate, will almost certainly find a challenge in Barrios, who will have a significant size advantage over him. 

It’s these types of challenges, however, that seem to motivate Davis, who’s looking to establish himself as one of the sport’s next pound-for-pound stars. 

“It’s going to be a time where they wake up,” Davis said. “They woke, but they’re not actually saying it, but they definitely woke. There’s some haters out there, but eventually, they’ll have to get on the bandwagon.”

With victories over Jose Pedraza and Yuriorkis Gamboa in addition to Santa Cruz, Davis has certainly done his part in building up his resume. However, to get where he aims to go, there’s obviously still work to be done. A win over Barrios would undoubtedly be impressive, but it seems as if Tank’s future will lie in the 130 or 135-pound divisions. 

There’s no shortage of exciting fights and big names for Davis to challenge himself against in either of those two divisions, and while he won’t rule anything out, he’ll likely return there following the June 26 date with Barrios. 

“For me personally, I would rather stay at 130-135, but whatever decision my team makes that we all agree on as one, I’m for it.”

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