Just a day before Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Conor McGregor, Mayweather Promotions received a massive blow with the news that Gervonta Davis had been stripped of his IBF super-featherweight title.
“Tank” Davis, widely regarded as Mayweather’s biggest protégé, had spoken on Thursday about moving up to lightweight, but news of his failure to make weight came as a huge surprise. A hugely unprofessional surprise.
The 22-year-old, who boasts a flawless professional record of 19-0 (18 KOs) weighed in two pounds over the 130-pound weight limit ahead of his world title fight against Costa Rica’s Francisco Fonseca. With the title no longer on the line, the Baltimore fighter still got the expected win amongst the feeling of disappointment within his camp.
Davis looked distracted, uninterested and disrespecting of his opponent throughout the fight on Saturday, and with a chorus of boos echoing around the T-Mobile Arena, the youngster has perhaps made his next step in following in the close footsteps of his mentor, Mayweather.
Davis got the stoppage in questionable circumstances after a shot to the back of the head floored Fonseca. The Costa Rican didn’t make the count but claimed not to be hurt after the fight.
Now, with the move up to lightweight looking all but certain, we look at the potential next step for Gervonta, under the careful guidance of Mayweather.
1 Dejan Zlaticanin (22-1)
Prior to his knockout loss to Mikey Garcia in January, the Montenegro fighter had a perfect record of 22-0. After claiming the vacant WBC lightweight title against Franklin Mamani, his reign was short lived with Garcia proving a class above in New York.
The 33-year-old has real power, and with a heightened profile after his last six months, a clash with Davis could be perfect timing for both fighters.
You'd expect "Tank" to come in as the favourite for this fight, however, Zlaticanin has already shown his worth at 135lbs, with Davis in unknown waters.
2 Terry Flanagan (33-0)
After defeating Liam Walsh in May, Davis and the 'Money Team' have already had experience in working with Frank Warren and his promotional outfit, making a clash with WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan a possibility.
"Turbo" Flanagan has been quietly going about his business without setting the division on fire, so a 'breakout' fight with Davis could be just what his career needs after making five straightforward defences.
Davis has already shown he is willing to travel, and with Frank Warren's new deal with BT Sport in England paving the way for bigger money fights, the 'Money Team' would see this as a sensible option.
3 Jorge Linares (42-3)
Jorge Linares has been in plenty of wars in his career, and despite already having a dance partner in Luke Campbell to be focusing on, a date with Davis would be another mouth-watering prospect.
Davis is a busy fighter who enjoys picking unorthodox angles. Fighting a technical master in Linares would sell well to the casuals and the hardcore boxing fans, with Linares having no problem-fighting in the US.
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