Gervonta Davis Ready For NYC Limelight Saturday
Lightweight star Gervonta “Tank” Davis has mostly let challenger Rolando Romero do the talking — and he has done a lot of it — as they get set to settle their long-standing grudge.
They will fight for Davis’ secondary 135-pound title in the main event on Saturday (Showtime PPV and PPV.com, 9 p.m. ET, $74.99) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
It is a place where Davis is comfortable and very familiar with and he intends on producing a similarly impressive performance against Romero as he has there in the past.
The fight will be Davis’ third Barclays Center fight and the previous two resulted in important victories. He won his first world title there in January 2017 when he dominated and stopped then-undefeated Jose Pedraza for the IBF junior lightweight title. In April 2018, he blitzed Jesus Cuellar in a third-round knockout victory to win the WBA junior lightweight belt.
Now, he returns to the arena, where Barclays Center officials say the fight will be a probable sell-out and set the building record for the biggest live gate of any of the 40 boxing events it has hosted.
“I’m excited to be back in Brooklyn and back at Barclays Center. This is a great city that always shows me love,” said the Baltimore native Davis. “It’s always been like a second home to me. I’m grateful to be back.
“I won my first title here in Brooklyn and then won a second title at Barclays Center as well. I feel like this fight at this arena is great for boxing.”
Hear us preview Davis-Romero on the latest “Big Fight Weekend Preview” podcast by clicking the link below,
He will be defending his current belt for the third time and, like most, expects the fight with Romero to produce action for as long as it goes.
“This is going to be fireworks. It’s going to be crazy in there,” Davis said. “I just hope he doesn’t use his elbows like he does a lot.”
Romero (14-0, 12 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, is predicting a first-round knockout victory.
“We know that Rolly is going to come out in round one and try to knock me out like he said,” Davis said. “I’ll be ready for that. The time is here and I’m ready.”
There is no love lost between the two. Romero claims Davis (26-0, 24 KOs), 27, a southpaw, avoided him by bailing on pre-arranged sparring sessions a few years ago. Davis has shown him little respect.
“He’s like someone who just came into the gym,” Davis said. “He’s like someone who thinks he’s nice now even though he hasn’t gotten it down pat yet. Real fighters know awkward fighters. He’s just a dumb fighter.
“I just want to show people that there are different levels when it comes to boxing. There are people that play boxing and there are people who have been doing this since they were kids. It’s time to show that I’m one of the guys who’s not to be played with. It starts with him and it’s going to continue.”
At Friday’s weigh-in in front of Barclays Center, when Romero stepped in front of Davis to flex as they posed for photos, Davis pushed him off the stage. Fortunately, Romero landed on his feet, was not hurt and jumped back up on stage. They had to be separated.
“This guy Davis talks about everything but the fight,” said Romero, who called Davis out for the past few years before finally getting the bout. “He’s taking this fight personally. My job is just to beat him up. He’s very emotional. That’s why I’ve been calling him out.
“He has a big head for me to hit. I’m not going to say what punch I’m getting him with, but you’re all going to see on Saturday night. This is ending in one round. I’m ready to get violent in the ring. I’m smiling right now, but Saturday is going to be different. I feel extremely calm in the ring. I get into ‘Rolly’ mode.
“You guys are going to see ‘Tank’ get knocked out in one round Saturday night at Barclays Center. Nothing else needs to be said. I’m going to go in there and hit him with one punch and we’re going to be done.”
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, who promotes both fighters, knows just how high tensions between them are and said he views the fight as one of the most anticipated he has worked on.
“Somebody is going to lose and somebody is getting knocked out,” Ellerbe said. “I know both guys are in tremendous shape. They’ve had excellent camps. No matter what anyone says, both guys have gotten up for this fight.
“In my eyes, this is a very dangerous fight for both guys. Sometimes there is a person who is supposed to win, but it doesn’t come out like that. Sometimes that person gets it done. Over the last year we’ve all seen Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Anthony Joshua and Chris Colbert all came into their fights knowing they were going to win the fight, and somehow they came up short. When you look at (the heavily favored Davis), he’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s one of the best fighters in the entire world. When you look at Rolly, a lot of people talk about what he can’t do, but from experience, that looks different when you’re up in it in the ring.”