It was vintage Gervonta Davis on Saturday night as the Baltimore, Maryland native scored an impressive 3rd round TKO over former featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar. With the win, the 23-year old Davis improves to 20-0 (19 KO’s) while also becoming champion for a second time by collecting the WBA junior lightweight championship.
The match aired on SHOWTIME Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and Davis made his mark as a young upstart (23 years old) who is already a two-time champion. Davis briefly held the IBF junior lightweight title, which he won from Jose Pedraza in January of 2017, but lost it on the scale in his attempted second defense vs. Francisco Fonseca this past August on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conoc McGregor undercard.
Against Cuellar, Davis needed less than three rounds, as he registered three knockdowns in an impressive display.
“On the undercard of the Mayweather-McGregor fight, I just wasn’t focused,” Davis explained afterwards. “It was the second time fighting on Mayweather’s card so it got to my head and it showed. After the fight, I went home and talked to my team and we decided it was time to leave Baltimore. I’m focused and it showed because I’m a champ again.”
For this camp, Davis trained in Florida with Kevin Cunningham, alongside four-division world champion Adrien Broner, who fought in the main event vs. Jessie Vargas. Davis may have had an up and down time growing up, but knows it is all worth it.
“There’s always bumps in the road when you want to become successful,” said Davis. “It’s all about how you bounce back and tonight I showed that I’m a true champion.”
Davis was very sharp vs. Cuellar, using a variety of pinpoint punches to break the Argentinean foe down in the early rounds. A body shot in round two dropped Cuellar (28-3, 21 KO’s), and Davis continued to stalk him until referee Benjy Esteves had seen enough at 2:45 of round three.
Davis opened up on his latest victory.
“The game plan was to box a little bit and open him up with some shots,” Davis said. “When it was time, I went forward and caught him with enough shots to get him out.”
Davis now has his sights set on recapturing the IBF title he once held. The IBF belt will soon be contested between Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer and former champion Billy Dib, and while that fight should be interesting, Davis is simply craving the chance to own the belt he once held.
“I want the IBF belt back and I’m ready to unify it with whoever wins the [Tevin] Farmer vs. [Billy] Dib fight,” Davis said.
The fight that seems to be interesting at the moment is Davis vs. Two-division champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko faces WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares on May 12, and if successful, perhaps him and Davis would make for a great encounter.
Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather has mentioned the fight coming off. Let’s see what happens the rest of this year. Davis may be young, but he is gaining championship experience, and his awkward style and power could serve him well vs. Lomachenko.