Two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis will make history on Saturday, July 27 when he becomes the first Baltimore native to make a homecoming defense in nearly 80 years.
Davis will defend his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship against mandatory challenger Ricardo “Científico” Núñez live on SHOWTIME from Royal Farms Arena in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The last Baltimore-native to make a title defense in his hometown was Harry Jeffra, a featherweight world champion who defeated Spider Armstrong in July 1940 at Carlin’s Park to retain his belt
At 24-years-old Davis is America’s youngest reigning world champion and has proven he has the star power to put Baltimore on the map as a significant fight city. The first world champion from Baltimore was Joe Gans, who was also the first African-American world champion in boxing history when he won the lightweight title in 1902.
“I believe it’s time for me to fight in front of my hometown and thank them for supporting me,” Davis said. “I never thought a fight in Baltimore would be this big. It gives me chills, but I’m ready for it. It’s a big test. I’ve been gone for so long and coming home feels amazing.”
This will be just the second time that the power-punching southpaw has fought in his hometown since turning professional in 2013.
Davis vs. Núñez is the first world championship in Baltimore in nearly 50 years. Light heavyweight champion Bob Foster defeated Mark Tessman by knockout at the Baltimore Civic Center in June of 1970 and the city hasn’t hosted another world title fight since. The historic night will also be the first SHOWTIME boxing event held in Baltimore in the network’s 33-year history
Formerly called the Baltimore Arena and Baltimore Civic Center, Royal Farms Arena has hosted dozens of boxing events since it opened in 1962. One of boxing’s all-time greats, Hall of Famer Sugar Ray Leonard made his professional debut at the Baltimore Civic Center in 1977 and fought there six times during his illustrious career.
A number of notable world titlist have called Baltimore home but never fought in the Charm City, including Hall of Famer Dwight Qawi, former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman and former super welterweight champ Vincent Pettway.
“These guys from the past really motivate me, and I give much respect to the guys before me and the ones after me,” Davis said. “But right now I’m laying the foundation to make history. It’s the people that I see every day in Baltimore that motivate me. I can’t think about anybody that was in the past or the future. We are all worried about what’s in front of us right now.”
Photo: Mayweather Promotions