Berchelt on Tank Davis: ‘Floyd Mayweather protects him too much’

His message is crystal clear. WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) wants all the big names. Whether it’s fellow Mexican action star Oscar Valdez, IBF champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, WBA champion Rene Alvarado, WBO champion and promotional stablemate Jamel Herring, or lightweight standouts Vasiliy Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis, Berchelt is itching to get back to action.

The Cancun native, who has made six defenses of his world title, recently spoke with Lupe Contreras. This is what he had to say.

On what he’s been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic

“We are still staying home and protecting ourselves from this bad virus that has knocked out a lot of people.

“We are taking care of ourselves by staying home. We are trying to stay active. We know that we have to take all the necessary precautions because we are high-performance athletes and we got to be careful.”

On training for a fight without knowing when he will fight again

“Well, it’s very difficult. Thankfully, we have the opportunity of having a stationary walker at home. I tried to run a little bit, and I do a little bit of shadowboxing, abs, push-ups. But it’s basically that. I believe it’s not the same as training in the gym, but we got to remember that we live off of staying in shape, and because of that, we must stay active.

“Nobody really knows when this pandemic will be over. But we have spoken to Top Rank President, Todd duBoef, and he has been giving us updates. We hope that this will be over soon. They have been thinking about all the alternatives, and one of them could be having fights without the public. I think that could be a big accomplishment because all fighters are standing by. A lot of us make a living by just boxing. I also believe that the TV networks are looking for content because they are running low on content right now. We hope for this to end soon so we can make the {Oscar Valdez} fight happen.”

On Oscar Valdez and his trainer, Eddy Reynoso

“Yes, of course I believe Oscar is a great fighter. I respect him a lot, but now we must face each other. I think Eddy Reynoso has come to add a lot of good things to his corner. He has also done a good job with Canelo Alvarez and Ryan Garcia. Now he is doing it with Oscar Valdez. It’s an excellent team, but on my side, I’m the champion and I also have a great trainer in Alfredo Caballero. It will be a great fight between Mexican fighters and Mexican trainers.”

On whether Valdez’s aggressive style will work against him

“No, I think they will have to come up with a good strategy. It’s worth noting that Oscar has already suffered an injury on his jaw. If I’m not mistaken, it happened in his fight against Scott Quigg. He broke his jaw. That’s why I believe they are going to try to fight a smart fight. He is also moving up in weight, and I don’t think he should be trading punches with me.”

On fighting Shakur Stevenson

“Of course! He is also a great fighter. Shakur Stevenson is a former Olympian and trains alongside Terence Crawford. I believe he is a fighter with a lot of ability and is one of the best fighters that Top Rank has right now, but like I mentioned, we are waiting for the fight with Oscar. I think he is still campaigning at 126. But when he gets to 130, I would like to face him. I think he is a great fighter, and I believe the fans want to see ‘El Alacrán’ Berchelt against the best.”

On his change once he became champion

“Well, it is a great responsibility. Everyone wants to be where you are. Now you become the target, and they are coming after you. Everyone wants to literally rip your head off. They want the crown. They want the belt. You realize that you have more responsibilities by having the belt, and you got to keep showing why you are the champion. That is why I’m still the champion after three years and six title defenses. We are going to keep walking this road. Losing my unbeaten record taught me a lot, and it didn’t only make me a better fighter, but it also made me a better person.”

On if he wants to unify the titles

“Of course! I would love to. JoJo Diaz was recently crowned as IBF champion. Also, Jamel Herring and Rene Alvarado. There are some great champions in the division, but right now, all I have on my mind is to face Oscar, be victorious on this seventh title defense, and after that, whoever comes, comes for Miguel Berchelt.”

On fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko

“Of course! Right now, he is one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I think he is only behind Canelo Alvarez. I would like to. Right now, my focus is getting through this situation of the pandemic. Then I will begin training and returning to all activities so I can face Oscar Valdez. After that, we can talk moving up to 135 to face someone like Vasiliy Lomachenko. He is a fighter that I have always wanted to face, or Teofimo Lopez.”

On fighting Gervonta Davis

“There are a lot of good fights to be made, but without a doubt, I would love to face Gervonta Davis. He is a very dangerous fighter and a lot of people would like to face him, but his promoter, Floyd Mayweather, protects him too much.”

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Loma talks Mayweather, Tank Davis, Haney, Lopez, more

Unified lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko is riding out the COVID-19 pandemic in his native Ukraine, but the three-weight kingpin is chomping at the bit to get his hands on the division’s leading names, including IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, WBC world champion Devin Haney and Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) has not fought since last August’s unanimous decision victory over Luke Campbell in London. He has sat back and taken notice of Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the Brooklyn-born prodigy who has been outspoken in his desire to fight the pound-for-pound Picasso.

This is what Lomachenko had to say in an exclusive interview with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher.

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine

“The situation as of this moment is from Monday, there will be very limited time to go outside. You will have to be in your house. You can’t gather more than two or three people. The situation is like you can only take your dog out for a walk or go out for something very serious. Other than that, you have to sit at home. You can’t even walk with your kids outside. Everyone will be on lockdown. This will go on until April 24 starting on Monday.”

On staying in shape at home in Ukraine

“I have a gym {at my house}, and of course I’m still training because it’s my job. Nobody knows when we can start. I always have to be in shape. I have to be ready always.”

On his feelings when he found out the tentative date of May 30 for the Lopez fight was postponed

“Of course, I was disappointed a little bit, but everything that’s happening {with self-quarantines} is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy and everything will go back to normal.”

On whether he thinks Lopez is ready for the sport’s elite

“I really think he’s a good boxer. He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s IBF title.”

On whether he sees the Lopez fight ending in a knockout

“Nobody knows. It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And the people are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody. I am getting very, very interested. Now, I want to see {the fight}.”

On what makes the Lopez matchup interesting

“The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction {after the fight}.”

On his most memorable moment from fighting Luke Campbell in London

“The most exciting moment I remember from my trip to the UK is probably when we went on the top of the O2 Arena, and I saw all of London. I could see it and then the very next day I was the champion of that arena. That was the most memorable moment for me.”

Word association when Lomachenko hears the following names:

Teofimo Lopez Sr.

“I can’t say that. It wouldn’t look good. I was raised differently.

“{He is a} good father.”

Oleksandr Usyk

“Best friend.”

Gervonta “Tank”  Davis

“Power.”

Floyd Mayweather

“Boxing IQ.”

Bob Arum

“Best promoter.”

Fan Questions

Any concern over the long layoff?

“Yes, of course. You have to be active all the time. You have to be training a lot in the downtime between fights. Right now, I am relaxing more. I will need to spend more time training. I will need to spar more and do more work.”

If you could fight any boxer from any era to give you the best fight, who would you want to fight?

“Of course I would like to fight somebody who is undefeated, who has a good history, who has a big name. I think the most interesting name for me to fight would be Floyd Mayweather.”

What do you think of Teofimo’s shoulder roll and catch-and-shoot counterpunching style?

“It is not an easy type of fighting. It is not an easy style. It is easier to fight attacking fighters who are coming forward. It’s much easier. This type of counterpuncher is more difficult to fight. The winner will be who has the better boxing IQ. But that style with the shoulder, I think I know what I have to do to win.”

Do you think that Gervonta Davis will fight you?

“Right now, I don’t think he’s going to fight me. He might want to fight me, but his promoters are not going to let him. Aside from him, that weight class is getting very interesting. We have a lot of good names in the weight class. Not {just} the champions, but they are in the rankings. So I think it’s a hard weight division.”

Do you want to stay at lightweight?

“It’s unpredictable. If we are going to be sitting here for one year longer, who is going to be coming out and in what weight class will they be?”

What about the Instagram back-and-forth with Devin Haney?

“Yes, DAZN posted something about Haney, and he said he would knock me out. So that is why I answered him, ‘Hey, listen, are you serious?’ He has not fought anybody and now he is saying he is going to knock me out? I said, ‘No problem, let’s do it.’ Then he answered me right away saying, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ I said, ‘OK, I am ready.’ He knows I am ready. I think he is ready, and we can give the fight for the fans that everybody wants. That is why I mentioned before that this is a very interesting weight class with big names and good names coming to the weight class.”

 

Photo: Top Rank Boxing

Russell on Tank Davis: ‘He definitely don’t have the skills that it takes to mess with me’

On Saturday night at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA, WBC 126-pound champion Gary Russell Jr.(31-1, 18 KOs) continued his winning ways with a unanimous decision over Tugstsogt Nyambayar. 

Now, the 31-year-old Russell wants bigger fights, and he is willing to move up to 135 pounds to do it.

After his victory over Nyambayar, Russell expressed his desire to fight Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who made his 135-pound debut in December with a win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in Atlanta. Russell wants the fight and has no problem doing that fight next.

“I’m not gonna say he’s a great fighter,” Russell said about Davis on Saturday night. “I do take my hat off to him because I watched him come up in the amateurs. I’m glad that he had the opportunity to provide a sense of financial stability for his family and friends, and all. But he definitely don’t have the skills it takes to mess with me. That’s the reason why he’s choosing, with his team and Floyd(Mayweather), and everybody else is choosing to keep him away from me.

“They handpick who they wanna fight. I don’t handpick who I fight. I fight whoever says they wanna fight me. Let’s make the fight happen.”

Davis, who is from Baltimore, MD, and Russell, who represents D.C., would sell big in the DMV, and Russell agrees.

“The fight would sell,” Russell said. “We could fight in D.C. Everybody and their mother and their grandmother would come to that fight, so let’s make the fight happen.”

I think this would be a great fight and a fight that would excite a lot of people. Davis brings power, but Russell brings the speed, so this fight could be very compelling Currently, Davis has a legal situation to handle after he was recently charged with simple battery, so who knows how much that would impact him moving forward, but for now, let’s hope they can make this fight happen!

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Tank Davis: ‘I feel I could fight at 130 or 135; I’m the top dog’

Undefeated two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) successfully moved up to 135 pounds and won the WBA Lightweight Title with a 12th round knockout of former unified champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) Saturday night live on SHOWTIME in front of 14,129 fans from the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Watch the KO HEREhttps://youtu.be/RQwX_UkJbDY

Baltimore’s Davis further cemented his status as one of boxing’s most must-watch attractions, delivering knockdowns in rounds two and eight before delivering the final blow in round 12. Davis’ trademark left-hand was on display all night, causing all three knockdowns including a devastating uppercut in the final round that closed the show in style and brought the fans in a raucous State Farm arena to their feet.

The power-punching southpaw landed on 48 percent of his power punches and established overall leads of 120-78 in overall punches, 27-9 in jabs and 93-69 in power. Davis’ excellent defense was also on display as Gamboa was only able to connect on 13 percent of his punches, including just 3 percent of his jabs.

The 38-year-old Gamboa, who was severely hampered early on by what he believes to be a ruptured Achilles tendon that occurred just before the second-round knockdown, showed tremendous heart and resilience to survive what looked like multiple knockout blows from the 25-year-old Davis.

“Coming into this fight I knew Gamboa was a tough opponent,” said Davis, who went past the ninth round for the first time in his career. “I knew he was a vet. As you see in the ring, I was catching and hurting him but he was still there. I knew he was better than anyone I had fought before. I was mainly focused on catching him with clean shots.  I was catching him with clean shots and wasn’t hurting him, so I knew I was in for rounds tonight.”

When asked by SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray to grade his own performance, Davis replied with “C-plus.”

“It was a great experience. I’m only 25 years old. I’m learning each and every day. 2020 will be a big year. I feel comfortable at both weights.  I feel I could fight at 130 or 135; I’m the top dog.  Bring ‘em on.”

“I feel OK, but I think I ruptured my Achilles tendon before I fell in the second round,” said Gamboa. “I’m a warrior and I kept going, but as soon as I felt it I knew it was ruptured.  I couldn’t put pressure on it.  I wanted to keep going.  I told my corner it was a problem but I wanted to keep going because I’m a warrior. I’m going to keep going. 135 is my weight. I want to stay there.”

Photo:  Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Tank on if he stops Gamboa before Crawford did: ‘I’m top five, pound-for- pound, for sure’

Gervonta Davis(22-0, 21 KOs) makes his debut at 135 pounds when battles Yuriorkis Gamboa(30-2, 18 KOs) on December 28 in Atlanta. For Davis, this fight is an opportunity to establish himself in a new weight class against an opponent who has decent power.

Back in 2014, Gamboa gave then lightweight belt holder and current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford a lot of trouble, and he had Crawford hurt in that fight. However, Gamboa would eventually get stopped in the ninth round. 

As he prepares for his battle with Gamboa, Davis watched Gamboa’s fight against Crawford, and he plans on using what he saw to his advantage.

“When I watched the Crawford vs. Gamboa fight, that’s the fight I actually keep watching,” Davis recently said on a conference call. “Gamboa was touching him up in the beginning of rounds because Crawford was too wide. So, I took that and tried to not be wide, like throwing a lot of round punches. 

“But the explosiveness was there, and he was actually right-handed when Gamboa was touching him up. So once he turned southpaw, then that was a different story. I was learning from his mistakes, just not be wide.

 “But I’m always going to be me in the ring and do what Gervonta Davis does. That’s, be explosive, be fast, and if we go 12 rounds, I’m definitely here for it. But I don’t see this fight going 12 rounds.”

According to Davis, if he stops Gamboa before Crawford did, he believes that he needs to be talked about as one of the best fighters in the world.

“If I do, it would tell that, I’m top five, pound-for-pound, for sure,” Davis said. 

I don’t think this fight changes anything in terms of Davis being one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport. Gamboa has some ability, but he is not an upper-echelon fighter. While beating Gamboa is a good win for Davis, it does not change anything in terms of his standing in the sport of boxing. This is a fight he is supposed to win. 

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Davis on fighting Gamboa: ‘I believe this is the biggest test of my career so far’

Two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis is moving on up to 135, and his first test will be against former unified champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on December 28 in Atlanta.

The championship showdown will be live from the award-winning State Farm Arena and is the first boxing title fight to take place in Atlanta since Evander Holyfield vs. Vaughn Bean on September 19, 1998.

While in Atlanta, Davis visited the site of his December 28 title fight and was acknowledged on the big screen inside the arena before and during Monday’s Atlanta Hawks game.

Here is what Davis had to say on Tuesday from the open to the public event at Republic Lounge:

GERVONTA DAVIS:

“December 28 is going to be an action packed fight, and not just my fight, but the whole card is going to be great. We’re training hard right now so we can live up to the hype. This is going to be a big event on December 28, not just a boxing show.
 
“I want to keep getting better and better inside that squared circle. I hope Gamboa brings the best out of me so that people can see that I’m not just a power puncher. I have a lot of boxing skills.
 
“I’ve always wanted to fight here. Atlanta has accepted me with open arms. Baltimore is always my first home, but being able to come here is special and I really appreciate the support.
 
“Coming up in weight is something that I know I have to do to be great. Gamboa is a tough opponent. He’s a gold medalist who hits hard. I’m going to test the waters and December 28 I’m going to show everyone what I can do.
 
“I believe this is the biggest test of my career so far. He’s very accomplished and we know that he’s explosive and comes to fight. He’s a tough opponent but we’re ready. We’re not taking him lightly at all.
 
“I don’t recall too much from when we sparred, but I remember he got out of the ring quicker than he was supposed to. It’s different sparring than on December 28. I’ll be ready and hopefully he’s ready to give the fans what they want to see.
 
“This is a really big challenge for me and we know that Gamboa is a bigger guy. He’s an action packed fighter with power and speed. It’s going to be great for the sport and we’re going to make it a great night.
 
“The fans should expect action on December 28. I’m going to give it my all and I’m going to put him down on his face.”

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Tank Davis: ‘If you don’t belong in there with me, you won’t be in there too long’

Gervonta Davis and Badou Jack met with members of the media last Saturday in Las Vegas to discuss their upcoming matchups taking place Saturday, December 28 live on SHOWTIME at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta in a special year-end Premier Boxing Champions event.

Two-time super featherweight champion Davis will take on former unified world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa for the WBA Lightweight World Championship as the 24-year-old Davis looks to conquer another division.  In the co-main event of a special holiday SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast, former two-division champion Jack will challenge WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal.

Here’s what the Davis had to say:

GERVONTA DAVIS:

Thoughts about Gamboa and moving up in weight:

“We know Gamboa is a veteran and that he’s had a lot of wars, so we know we have a tough fight. He’s definitely dangerous. He can hit. He can fight.

“His last fight he made 134, so we know he can get bigger than me at that weight. I’m going into this knowing he’s a bigger fighter than me. I’m just going to bring my power and capitalize on that weight class and becoming world champion.

“I believe I’m one of the top fighters in the world, but I don’t compare myself to other fighters. I just go out and get the job done.

“Atlanta is my second home. I’m confident I’ll sell it out.”

On his ability and uniqueness as a fighter:

“I come from a different cloth than these other guys. I’ve been through everything in my life. A lot of people haven’t experienced what I have. If I ever get beat it would have to be by someone who’s been through what I have been through. It can’t be anyone who’s just been training all their life.

“Every time I step in the ring I’m willing to leave it all in there. A lot of people haven’t seen my full skills because I haven’t fought an opponent that has brought them out.”

On his potential in the sport:

“The boxing world hasn’t seen my true potential as a fighter, they’ve just seen my power. I’m the type of boxer where if you don’t belong in there with me, you won’t be in there too long. Some fighters like to take their time. I’m the type, if I know you’re not on my level, I’m going to show it. The world will see. I’ll fight anybody.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Tank on coin toss at Ravens’ game: ‘Maybe I’ll be fighting inside this same stadium in the future’

Baltimore native, Gervonta Davis, received an outpour of support from 80k football fans during Sunday’s Ravens’ home opening game. The two-time world champion was invited by the NFL team to officiate the coin toss for Sunday’s opener at M&T Bank Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals.

This is yet another accomplishment to a rapid-growing list of accolades the rising star has accumulated in his hometown. On August 17th a week before Davis vs. Nunez fight, Davis was invited by the Baltimore Orioles to throw the first pitch at their home game against the Boston Red Sox. To kick off Gervonta’s historical hometown fight, Mayor Jack Young honored the undefeated Baltimore native with a key to the city ceremony on July 24th. A few days later on July 27th, Davis successfully defended his WBA world title in front of a sold-out crowd at Royal Farms Arena. A major milestone for Davis, who became the first Baltimore native to make a title defense in his hometown since Harry Jeffra in 1940. Davis is now a part of a limited list of Baltimore world champions including Joe Gans, who was also the first African American world champion in boxing in 1902, and Vincent Pettaway, a former super welterweight champion who showed his support for the young star by being in attendance at Davis’ hometown fight.

The accumulation of his success in the ring and the love he has for his city has sky-rocketed the twenty-four-year-old to star status. Davis is an integral part of the Baltimore community and he’s shown much gratitude for the love he’s received from his hometown.

“There was a moment when I was standing on the field where everything just stopped, said Davis. It was surreal. I’ve walked out to the ring in front of a sold-out crowd before, but never 80,000 fans. This is a new reach for me and my brand and I’m just thankful to have the support I do from my fans and my city. This is just the beginning, who knows, maybe I’ll be fighting inside this same stadium in the future.”

A city that is known for violence is the same city he credits his success and humble demeanor to. The two-time world champion is making it his responsibility to use his platform to help rebuild the city that raised him, through non-profit initiatives and events such as his recent Back-to-School giveaway held on August 23rd at the Upton Boxing Center, where he was joined by NBA star Carmelo Anthony, and handed out backpacks, school supplies, clothes, and shoes to several hundred community members.

In the midst of creating his legacy and experiencing his recent success, Davis has exemplified leadership and heart and he’s never shied away from admitting the impact Baltimore has had on his burgeoning career. Looking ahead, Davis is set to be recognized for his excellence by the city of Baltimore at the beginning of October with a parade in his honor. He will be joined by Mayor Jack Young and a few other key members of the community. The event is open to the public and an official date will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Photo: Mayweather Promotions

Tank Davis thinks a fight with Tevin Farmer could lead to violence outside the ring(VIDEO)

Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer don’t like each other, and fortunately for them, they could have an opportunity to settle their beef in the ring. The two have had numerous confrontations on social media and in public, which has led to some bad blood.

Both guys have belts. Farmer has the IBF 130-pound title, while Davis has the WBA strap at that same weight class. After their victories, on separate cards on July 27, both Davis and Farmer called each other out.

Interestingly enough, according to Davis, if the two were to fight, there could be violence outside of the ring between the two camps because of the bad blood.

“Me fighting Tevin, just gonna be amazing,” Davis told The Breakfast Club in New York City on Thursday. “I think somebody gonna get hurt that night.. Outside the ring. Yeah, somebody gonna get hurt. It gotta happen in Vegas or L.A. or something. It can’t happen in New York. Me and Tevin been beefing for so long.. We’ll probably fight before the fight.”

If the fight does happen, you hope that the violence will stay in the ring, and not outside the ring. The hate between these two fighters seems very real, which could make for a great fight.

Listen to the complete interview below:

Mayweather on Gervonta Davis: ‘This is a pay-per-view star’

Gervonta Davis returned to Baltimore in empathic fashion, defending his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship with a second round technical knockout of mandatory challenger Ricardo Núñez Saturday on SHOWTIME from a sold-out Royal Farms Arena. 

Fighting for the first time at home as a world champion, and in the first world title fight in Baltimore in nearly 50 years, Davis again proved why he’s one of boxing’s brightest young stars.  After a first round where he peppered Núñez to the body, the youngest reigning America world champion landed a series of brutal left hooks flush to Núñez’s face that sent the challenger stumbling into the ropes in the second.  With Núñez (21-3, 19 KOs) leaning against the ropes and unable to defend himself, referee Harvey Dock stepped in to stop the contest at 1:33. VIDEO: https://s.sho.com/2JZwFEi

The resounding knockout was Davis’ 21st knockout in 22 professional fights, and perhaps his sweetest.  It occurred in front of 14,686 fans in the first hometown title defense for a Baltimore native in 79 years. 

“Tonight, we showed out,” Davis said.  “It’s amazing to fight in front of my hometown fans, my family.  It’s an incredible feeling. It’s not just a win for me, it’s a win for Baltimore.  I want to do it again.

“I’m always ready.  He wasn’t. He wasn’t alert and I caught it with my third punch.  I got him with a body shot. I caught him with a really nice shot.  That was it.”

It was the second defense of the WBA belt for the 24-year-old, two-division world champion.  

“I had the WBA belt and I had the IBF belt,” said the undefeated Davis. “Tevin Farmer fought tonight.  I want Tevin. That’s a fight that can be made. Let’s get it on later this year.”

After the fight, promoter Floyd Mayweather, who called Davis the future of boxing when he first won the title in 2017, lauded his star fighter.

“Tank is an unbelievable fighter,” Mayweather said.  “He’s something special. This is a pay-per-view star.  He has the charisma and the will to win. He has a big heart and a great team behind him.”

Photo; Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions