Gervonta “Tank” Davis improved his record to 17-0, 16 KOs by defeating Jose Pedraza and winning his first world title Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Although Pedraza was competitive in the first five rounds, Davis’ advantages in power and speed became apparent early on.
The turning point was in the sixth round when Davis hurt Pedraza with a devastating body shot that he couldn’t quite recover from. Davis then sent Pedraza to the canvas in the next round with a big right hook. Though Pedraza got up, referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped the fight at 2:36 of Round 7.
Stripping Pedraza of his IBF Junior Lightweight belt, Davis is now currently the youngest American champion in boxing.
“Oh man, it feels great to win my first belt, it was a lot of hard work but it means a lot. It was a great performance and I boxed really well. I appreciate the best boxer in the world backing me, Floyd Mayweather,” said Davis after the fight.
“Floyd told me to stay calm and I studied Floyd when he was Pretty Boy. My uppercut was my best shot and it was landing all night. It felt really good to fight the way I did. I showed I could take it and dish it out. That’s how you know I’m a real dog.”
Davis put on a spectacular show and he indeed proved that he is a “real dog.” With that being said, the 130-pound division is currently one of the most competitive divisions in the sport.
So, what is next for the IBF champ, Gervonta “Tank” Davis?
Though the Junior Lightweight division is stacked and there could be several great possible matchups for Davis, a lot of the top-tier fighters in this division are not Premier Boxing Champions fighters, which makes negotiating such matchups less realistic.
The likelihood of a fight between Davis and Vasyl Lomachenko or Francisco Vargas happening, though highly anticipated, isn’t that great.
Some possible matchups that might not be as intriguing to boxing fans but seem the most realistic at this point include fights against Tevin Farmer, Jason Sosa or Javier Fortuna.
It is no secret that Tevin Farmer would gladly and confidently take a fight against Davis. There is undoubtedly tension between these two fighters.
Tevin Farmer (24-4-1, 5 KOs) hasn’t lost since 2012 and was very active in 2016, fighting four times. Davis vs. Farmer would make for an intriguing fight and probably somewhat competitive, but Davis’ power would likely be the difference maker in this fight.
Davis vs. Sosa could be another matchup that we could see in the near future. Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) beat Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) via TKO this past June, giving him his first loss. Contrary to Farmer, Sosa also has power, which would make this fight very interesting. Looking at these fighter’s stats side by side, this would be a competitive fight.
Though a fight between Davis and Fortuna might not be a huge sell, it is another realistic and possible matchup. Fortuna took a tough loss to Sosa but bounced back with two consecutive wins late in 2016. This fight would likely be competitive early on, but I foresee Davis’ agility and power wearing on Fortuna in the later rounds.
Gervonta Davis is undeniably a rising star in boxing, but he still has a lot to prove. Davis is young at 22 years old and I’m sure most boxing fans, myself included, are very excited to watch him continue to be tested and overcome the obstacles in his path.