By Tré Berry III🖊️
The introductory Lightweight contest for 🇺🇸Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0-0, 22KO👊) was a strange one in a multitude of ways in which we will cover in this article. With all that had went down, Tank was able to find the late knockout that he was seeking at the end of the day, and found it in the 12th round by landing a left uppercut to put 🥇🇨🇺Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3-0, 18KO👊) down for the 3rd time, and out for the KO victory.
Davis and Gamboa spent much time in the center of the ring to start off the fight. Davis got in a couple explosive lead shots, that Gamboa took remarkably well. Gamboa started to adjust a little bit to Tank’s speed and landed a couple of solid counter-punches in the latter portion of the round. In the 2nd, Tank fired a double right jab and landed a left cross to Gamboa’s chin as he ducked down to floor Yuriorkis for the 8-count. Gamboa got up, but appeared to be in some trouble and experienced discomfort with some sort of ankle injury. Gamboa stifled Tank’s offense enough to get through the rest of the round. Gamboa specified that something may have been broken. It appeared that either his ankle, or the shoe was heavily compromised, but the events that took place between rounds made the situation weirder involving the discussion between Yuriorkis Gamboa, his corner and 🗣️Referee Jack Reiss, who called a timeout after the allotted corner minute to try and get some clarity of the situation, to which he still couldn’t grasp what was trying to be pointed out to him. The fight would continue on, and while the action ensued, you could see that Gamboa’s shoe wasn’t fitting quite right on the foot, with his ankle periodically rolling, so he started to drag the leg a bit. In the 3rd and 4th rounds, Davis started to cook with his counter-punching, often landing first and dictating the events in the center of the ring, and Gamboa at this point started to fall behind in the points aspect of the contest.
Davis ran out to Gamboa at the beginning of the 5th round, perhaps sensing the turmoil that was increasing in the opposing corner. Davis landed a series of blistering rear uppercuts and nasty right hooks that had Gamboa on shaky legs for the last minute of the stanza, but he took the punches remarkably well for what his normal punch resistance has been over the years when fighting power punching specialists. Gamboa’s corner by this point taped the shoe up tightly, and Gamboa’s gait with his stepping improved a bit from what it was in the previous rounds. Tank became the aggressor more in the 6th round while Gamboa used his foot movement on the outside, using his experience trying to get Davis to play the cat and mouse game, but Tank still found areas to fire 🚀missiles through. He also started to mix it up to the body a little bit more, giving Gamboa something extra to think about. Gamboa started to switch up his sequences and began to press forward, and landed some quality punchers over the top with the left hook and right hand to author up what was his finest round of the contest. In round 8, Gamboa continued to come forward, which was an interesting contrast in how the fight had started. Gamboa landed a strong left hand while Davis was in the corner, and landed a couple more while Davis activity drastically 📉dipped down at this juncture of the fight. Gamboa’s confidence began to rise, but that worked to his detriment when he was opening up and getting sloppy defensively to fire the power, when he walked into a huge looping left hand from Gervonta to put him on the mat for the 2nd time of the night. Gamboa showed a lot of heart in the fight overall, (walking into the line of fire often, and fighting onward with an obvious ankle injury) and got up to continue the fight. Tank was able to rip in a couple of quality uppecut’s in the 9th round that bothered Gamboa, and Yuriorkis while on unsteady legs tackled Tank as a survival tactic, showing veteran savvy in doing what he could do to get immediately out of harms way.
A HOLE CARD HAS BEEN PEEPED – Tank Davis to this point had never fought past 9 rounds, and this fight would see a 10th round. Clearly you could see that the younger man of 13 years was a fatigued fighter whose instinctual reflexes had dipped noticeably, and the 38 year old Gamboa showed to have more juice in the tank (no pun intended) at this juncture. The Cuban landed a big time 3-punch combination on the inside while Tank inexplicably lost focus (perhaps fatigue had a little to do with that), and did some good work in the round. Tank landed a couple of 💣bombs down the stretch, but Gamboa ate it well, and showed growing confidence in his uptick of offense when going back to his corner. Gamboa seemed to have shot his load in that round though, with him not being able to conjure up much of anything in the 11th round, resorting to holding and mauling Davis instead of looking to let his hands go. Davis hurt Gamboa with about 15 seconds left in the round, but Gamboa was able to barely stay up as the 🔔bell sounded. The 12th round came, but final bell did not, and Tank made sure of that by firing and landing some serious uppercuts and hooks that permanently took Gamboa’s legs away. With Gamboa leaning over his front foot and exposing his chin, Davis landed a perfect left uppercut on the chin to put Gamboa on his backside.
After 🗣️Jack Reiss assessed Gamboa’s condition on the mat after starting his count, he concluded that Gamboa had enough, and he waived his count off, calling an end to the fight. Gervonta recorded his 22nd knockout and got his first official win in the Lightweight division. He won a secondary WBA Lightweight belt, but let’s be clear, that is NOT the true WBA World Title belt, so I am reluctant to call him a Titlist regardless on if it is deemed as official or not. Nonetheless, having that secondary belt puts him in a decent position to get certain fights, so now his team can play a little hardball with negotiations for other quality fights at the 135 lb division.
Post-fight, 🕴🏽Leonard Ellerbe (who is the CEO of Mayweather Promotions) had stated that a 💵PPV event will be in the works for Gervonta at some point in the year 🗓️2020. That also tips off that they will be seeking out competition of Championship or elite level to further bolster the interest enough to build on top of the potential Pay-Per-View draw. With that being stated, Tank has some work to do in the gym before he entertains the wolves in the Lightweight division that sit on top of the rankings, because the short comings that he has exhibited throughout his young career when you look past what he does very well, and the vulnerable spots in his game that he revealed to the public yesterday, some of those top-flight Lightweights can take advantage of him in those different areas. On the contraire, this fight could also serve as a learning experience in getting Davis to 📈improve, and having something tangibly on film to break down and study in pursuit of fixing some of his bad habits so that he could grow to the next level as a fighter toward his journey of trying to become an elite craftsman.
🤜 Gervonta Davis = 120/321, 37.4% Landed.
🤜 Yuriorkis Gamboa = 78/617, 12.5% Landed.