Gervonta “Tank” Davis (22-0, 21KOs) has vacated his WBA (Super) Junior Lightweight title and moved up to the stacked lightweight division. He automatically becomes the #1 contender for the 135 pound WBA title. Will his promotion team allow him to fight Vasiliy “Hi-Tek” Lomachenko straight away? Very doubtful.
So what are the other options for Davis? 37 year old Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2, 18KOs) now sits at #2 in the WBA rankings. Could we see that fight happen? Gamboa used to be a big name when he was campaigning at super featherweight and lightweight about six to seven years ago. He would be a soft touch fight to secure the WBA (Regular) title for Davis. Then things get interesting. Who else could his team pit him against besides Loma?
Lomachenko recently stated that he wants to unify the 135lb division and become undisputed. Then he plans on vacating the titles and moving back down to junior lightweight, where he says he feels more comfortable fighting. It’s no secret that Loma is one of the smallest fighters at 135. Despite that, he has been cleaning out the division one-by-one, collecting 3 of the 4 belts in just a year and a half. Lomachenko originally planned on moving down to fight Davis. Would he wait around if he becomes undisputed and Davis’ team balks at the chance to fight him? Many boxing fans want to see this fight. It’s on top of their dream list along with Erroll “The Truth” Spence (25-0, 21KOs) vs Terence “Bud” Crawford (35-0, 26KOs). So many fights don’t happen due to boxing politics. I personally hope this does not effect this fight. I hope this fight happens soon or some time in early 2020. It’s a very timely move for Davis, but a smart one. Fights cannot be agreed to at 130 pounds due to politics. I fear the same could happen at 135 pounds.
If a fight with Lomachenko doesn’t end up happening, many boxing fans would be highlight disappointed. One would think if Davis ends up becoming the “Regular” WBA champ that perhaps the WBA would order the fight to happen? Maybe both sides don’t agree to terms and it goes to a purse bid? That would be fantastic in my opinion.
There’s a list of fighters in the lightweight (135lbs) division that could be in line to fight Davis and be a step up for him. Here’s a list of potential opponents and why they make sense (outside of the Gamboa and Lomachenko fights):
Rances Barthelemy (27-1-1, 14KOs)
The cuban fighter is coming off a split draw decision to Robert Easter Jr (21-1-1, 14KOs). He’s been around for a while and he is a former champion at 130 pounds. In the eyes of Davis’ handlers this is a safe, good step up because he doesn’t possess great power. It’s no disrespect to Barthelemy, who is a respectable opponent. He is the bigger man at 5’10 and 72 1/2 inches of reach. He has good boxing skills and good experience to at least pose new challenges for Davis to overcome. He’s 33 years old, so no one will criticize the fight. He’s also signed with Al Haymon so it should be an easy fight to make happen.
Robert Easter Jr. (21-1, 14KOs)
The flip side opponent. He had a split draw decision against Rances Barthelemy. With Easter Jr, he has better experience against elite boxers. His only loss came to then undefeated Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30KOs), losing by unanimous decision. He also edged current IBF champ Richard Commey (29-2, 26KOs) by split decision. Easter is a tall fighter as well, standing 5’11 with an incredible 76″ reach. This fight is more unlikely in my opinion, unless Davis’ promotion team thinks Easter is mentally shot after losing and then then fighting to a draw in back-to-back fights. This would be a true signature win for Davis. There’s been some speculation that Easter may move up to campaign at 140-pounds. If he doesn’t, this may be one of the biggest challenges available for Davis. It’s an easy fight to make as far as promoters, as Easter is also signed with Al Haymon.
Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14KOs)
Haney is one of the top rising prospects in the sport today. One might call him a contender now, as he’s fighting Zaur Abdullaev (11-0, 7KOs) in a WBC eliminator for number one contender status. Haney has showed great technical skills leading up until this point. What makes this bout interesting is that Haney has sparred a lot of pros at Mayweather’s boxing club, including Davis. Haney talked a little bit of trash after, stating he took care of business and Gervonta knows what happened. The only snag here is that Haney is signed to DAZN. Boxing politics again could get in the way. It’d be a great fight pitting two young rising boxers against each other. It’s something boxing fans rarely get to see.
Ryan “The Flash” Garcia (18-0, 15KOs)
Garcia is another rising prospect. While I personally don’t think Garcia is ready for an opponent of Davis’ caliber yet, there has been a lot of trash talking between Garcia and Davis on social media and in interviews. This could be one of those “down the road fights” that would create a lot of buzz and generate a lot of money. Both fighters have large fan bases. If Golden Boy Promotions keeps putting Garcia in the right fights and keeps him busy, he should be at a level in a year or two where this is at least a competitive fight. Whether he would win is an entirely different question, one, where it is too soon to answer. Garcia has lightning fast speed, good power, and has been working with Eddy Reynoso. Reynoso also trains Unified Middleweight Champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 35KOs), who has been somewhat of a mentor to the young Garcia as of late. This would be a very interesting fight down the road, possibly in 2021?