Most pundits were straddling the fence when assessing the Gervonta Davis versus Jose Pedraza fight set for Jan. 14 at Barclays Center.
Davis, he'd told us he was Mayweatherian, the heir apparent, the one.
Ok, yes, for sure a young gun.
He'd been blitzing people, but those victims on paper surely were not of the quality of the Puerto Rican nicknamed Sniper, who was holding the IBF 130 pound strap. We'd need to see it to believe it.
Well, he came, he conquered, and we saw it and we believe. Ok, we don't know if “Tank” is THE ONE, a person who will rise and keep rising and separate himself from rivals to be the leader in all boxing, as Floyd did.
Heck, we don't know if he'd conquer a foe in his weight sphere, Vasyl Lomachenko. But we think just maybe, on Jan 14 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and on Showtime, a star was born.
He is 22, repping Baltimore, a newly humbled pugilist who received a dose of tough love from promoter Mayweather, who flurried on the kid a few months ago as being too money obsessed and ungrateful. So Floyd distanced himself, waited for Davis to prove he could train right and keep away from negative influences in Maryland, and put up, and shut em up. He did. Davis did. He handled Pedraza with relative ease, considering the experience and competence of the Puerto Rican. Yeah, judging by the buzz I sensed inside Barclays Saturday, a star was born in that ring. Davis is one to watch, carefully, continuously.
I asked Davis minutes after his win, what about it, was a star born on this night, or what?
“It was born in 1994,” Davis answered, with the measured tone of a legit badass, who'd not be offering deferential humility to a pressman. He then allowed a grin.
And how sure was he that he'd get the W, and in this fashion? “I knew it,” said the 17-0 with 17 KOs star on the rise. “I know what I bring to the table as a fighter. I know I'm an exciting fighter. Pedraza is a great fighter. But I knew I was the better man.”
Indeed, no shadow of any doubt there.
So, he's now on a not that long list, of guys who you will very much be keeping tabs on who and when and where they fight next. There will be an appetite to right away get Mayweather and Bob Arum in a room to book a unification event. Don't be hoping too hard for that. Floyd post-fight told media that he'd be looking out for Davis, would keep building him methodically. Mayweather time and again and yet again publicly harps on the need for young fighters to be patient, to grind like he did, let the momentum build and then the money, earned money, will come.
So don't get yourself out of breath calling for a Tank v Loma faceoff. But do take heed of a new star on the scene, born in 1994, and introduced farther and wider and in most exclamatory fashion in a Brooklyn ring in 2017.