Gervonta Davis: ‘I never thought a fight in Baltimore would be this big’

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

Advertisements

Davis: ‘It was always a goal of mine to bring a world title fight back to my city of Baltimore’

Two-time super featherweight champion and Baltimore-native Gervonta “Tank” Davis will defend his WBA title in a championship homecoming against mandatory challenger Ricardo “Cientifíco” Núñez Saturday, July 27 live on SHOWTIME from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature the youngest reigning American world champion in Davis, as he becomes the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in nearly 80 years.

Davis (21-0, 20 KOs) became the youngest reigning American world champion in 2017 when he delivered a star-making performance on SHOWTIME by knocking out Jose Pedraza for the IBF 130-pound title at just 22 years old. Now, he makes his return to his hometown to fight for the first time as a world champion.

The 24-year-old became the youngest two-time world champion in April 2018 when he knocked out Jesus Andres Cuellar in the third round of their WBA Super Featherweight Championship bout. Most recently he knocked out former world champion Hugo Ruiz in the first round of his first SHOWTIME main event in February. Davis, who owns knockouts in all five of his world championship fights, is the first Baltimore native to defend in his hometown since Harry Jeffra defended the featherweight world title in 1940.

“It was always a goal of mine to bring a world title fight back to my city of Baltimore,” said Davis, who has not fought in Baltimore since his fourth pro fight. “I’m excited and grateful to my team for helping make this happen on Saturday, July 27. Tickets will go fast, so don’t wait on buying them! I can’t wait to put on a great show and to see all my supporters in Baltimore help me make it a night to remember at Royal Farms Arena.”

The hard-hitting Panamanian Núñez (21-2, 19 KOs) will be making his U.S. debut on July 27 as he seeks to take advantage of his first world title opportunity. The 25-year-old is on a 10-fight winning streak in which he has scored nine knockout victories. After his opponent was forced to withdraw from a scheduled March 2 bout on SHOWTIME, Núñez scored a first-round knockout of Eduardo Pacheco in April to make it three consecutive knockouts heading into this championship bout.