There’s no denying the talent of Gervonta “Tank” Davis. The eye-catching reflexes and headline-grabbing power scream “superstar” and the fact that he’s promoted by the greatest money-making star of all-time, Floyd Mayweather, only lends shine to his growing star.
Even in a recent performance considered to be well below his usual level of excellence—this past December 28, while winning the vacant WBA lightweight title, against Yuriorkis Gamboa—he still delivered a compelling fight and utterly dominated his foe in a three-knockdown, win-every-round showing that ended with a twelfth-round TKO.
There’s also no denying the fact that fans are watching and paying attention when Davis fights.
For his bout with Gamboa, Davis drew 14,129 fans to State Farm Arena in his current place of residence, Atlanta, Georgia. Back in July, he brought 14,686 fans to Royal Farms Arena in his birth town of Baltimore, Maryland for his fight against Ricardo Nunez. Broadcast on Showtime, his two recent contests were the network’s highest rated fights, next to Deontay Wilder’s blasting of Dominic Breazeale in May.
These are all big, big positives for the 25-year-old, now-two-division world champ. If this were the end of the story, everyone would agree that Mayweather Promotions’ assessment of “Tank” Davis as the sport’s next pay-per-view draw and cash cow heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather was dead-on perfect.
But Davis has shown plenty of signs of immaturity outside the ring, lack of focus, and the possibility that he could be heading for a complete and total implosion before he gets to the point of being a truly bankable asset.
For one thing, he has missed weight on multiple occasions now. In this last fight, even though he was, ostensibly, moving up to lightweight in order to make weight more comfortably, he still couldn’t get under the 135 lb. limit until his second try.
He’s also had a couple of fairly recent run-ins with the law, brought about by outside-the-ring skirmishes in the public arena. Davis has publicly chalked those dust-ups to frustration and fractured focused due to inactivity and claims to be solving those issues by keeping himself busy in the ring, with more frequent fights.
But these character flaws sound more like the personal weaknesses of an Adrien Broner than anything resembling Floyd Mayweather.
Broner, in his early twenties, was projected to be a “next big thing” in boxing and, like Davis, a protégé of Mayweather. He had flashy skills, reflexes, power, and a flair for the dramatic in his ring work. On the mic, few delivered better, more attention-grabbing, headlines than “The Problem.” Love him or hate him, the young man exuded confidence and charisma.
The only things that could bring Broner down were his own personal character flaws and his penchant for doing the wrong things with the wrong people outside the ring. And, sure enough, those self-imposed liabilities did bring him down. Once considered a sure-thing, future elite-level superstar, Broner is now a 30-year-old wasted talent with a 3-3-1 record in his last seven bouts, pursued as a beatable “name” B-side by fighters with an upward career trajectory.
The now-retired Floyd Mayweather, despite being a controversial figure for some of his outside-the-ring behavior, had always been all-business when it came to boxing. Through everything, Mayweather never lost focus on his business and always came to the ring sharp and in shape, even back when he was a younger man, tempted by new-found fame and glory.
Time will tell whether Gervonta Davis becomes more Mayweather-like in his career or if the pull of distraction drags him to Broner level.
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