Baltimore’s Gervonta Davis moves up to the lightweight division on Saturday 28th December and contests the vacant WBA regular world lightweight crown with Cuba’s former Olympic gold medallist and 2-weight world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2-0, 18 Ko’s). The fight takes place at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia and will be shown on Showtime.
Guided by Floyd Mayweather, Davis has been fighting very good opposition throughout his six-year career but not the elite fighters around his former super-featherweight weight division. As with all top boxers, much of this can be due to promotional and broadcast alignments but there are critics who believe that Mayweather and Mayweather promotion’s CEO Leonard Ellerbe have steered their way around fighters such as Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Yuriorkis Gamboa may be seen as an under-achiever when his career comes to a close. That might seem harsh considering that he has won world titles at feather and super-featherweight but he came into the professional ranks as a multi-weight world champion in waiting. He has never been the dominant force that most experts thought he would be. Still, he is a danger to anyone as former WBO super-featherweight champion Roman Martinez found out in their bout on 27th July. Gamboa knocked Martinez down twice and stopped him in 2 rounds.
There is an age difference of 12 years between Davis (25) and Gamboa (37) and that is why ‘Tank’, as Davis is known, starts as a big favourite in this fight. Gamboa will be dangerous though, he has power and is crafty as you would expect from a Cuban former Olympic champion, but Davis is quicker and has even more power. Gamboa still isn’t really a lightweight. He weighed 132lbs for the Martinez fight and as we saw when he challenged then WBO world lightweight champ Terence Crawford in 2014, Gamboa couldn’t take ‘Bud’s’ power shots, being knocked down four times on route to a 9th round Tko loss.
This could be an interesting fight in the early going, but I have a feeling that Davis will want to make a statement to the 135lb division and will look to take the ageing Cuban out. Mouth-watering match-ups with Lomachenko, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez, and Ryan Garcia await the winner of this fight and I don’t expect the younger and unbeaten (22-0-0, 21 Ko’s) Davis to allow those fights to get away from him.
Prediction: Davis to stop Gamboa in 3-6 rounds.