I have hammered the subject for a long time. The best need to fight the best, boxing bigs need to put A siders against each other, stop all the building momentum fights and start making meaningful matches more often. That stands today, I stick by it…
But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate when a possible mismatch, on paper, gets made. Like the Dec. 5 clash, which pits Gervonta Davis, who is a top 20 pound for pounder, against Rolly Romero, who isn't.
The junior welters wil rumble at Staples Center, and on PPV. On Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore native Davis, age 26, and the Las Vegas based Romero, also 26, came together for a press conference in LA to hype the battle.
I've seen on social media lots of chatter about how this is another cherry pick for Tank, and I'm not of the same mind. Yes, Romero is a work in progress, and his lack of refinement will leave him open to absorb Gervonta's power, and possibly hit the deck for the first time as a pro. But this could be a steam-roll job, Tank might reduce Rolly to rubble right quick. But that's OK, I'd rather see fights made that are fueled by real emotion, not simply exercises in revenue collection.
I'd bet on there being a stoppage before the mid-way point, for the record. Tank is 25-0 and has been in with a bunch of guys more heralded than Rolly. Romero is 14-0, probably deserves to be 13-1 or 12-1-1, and Tank's skill set will likely shock him at Staples Center.
I thought it was a strong possibility that these two would get in a Canelo-Plant mode, and scrum, because Rolly has for a long spell trolled the shit out of Tank.
Here's an example:
But no, they held it together. Romero brought some fire, his profanity game was strong. But there was just yapping, no pushing or hitting.
After Stephen Espinoza talked, and proclaimed Showtime's eminence, and Leonard Ellerbe said he thinks this one will be a fight of the year type scrap, along the lines of Hagler-Hearns, and Floyd Mayweather tried to stay on track as a promoter, and not revert to his usual stump speech, Romero came to the mic.
He was dressed to kill, or sweat, in a fur coat. “You guys are gonna see me knock this dwarf the fuck out,” he said, looking down at Tank. He looked down at Tank, seated to his right, and called him a “stupid fuckin' dwarf,” and promised to knock him the fuck out, again. Rolly mocked the length of Tank's arm, and asserted that his penis is longer than Tank's arms. Tank clapped back verbally, but didn't look too heated.
Tank then went to the mic. He thanked Al Haymon, Mayweather Promotions and Showtime, proving that Rolly hasn't gotten under his skin. He said he thinks Rolly is scared, and “if this was the streets, these niggers woulda been smoked..That's what it is, you trash.” He mocked the fur coat worn by Rolly, and finished by noting that Rolly will need defense on Dec. 5, his supposed power won't help in that regard.
Brian Campbell presided over the presser, with Brian Custer on assignment, and asked some questions. He asked Tank if this was a real beef, or not. Naw, Tank said, it's business, this isn't personal for him.
–Campbell asked Rolly about his confidence, where it comes from: “That's the way I was born,” Romero said. He also weighed in on who is the best at lightweight. “I got Teofimo number one,” he said, and that he has Gervonta at No. 2. (Check this out, our John Gatling recognized that Tank would be a big deal back in 2016.)
–And is this maybe too soon? Romero said he came to boxing late, he's now 14-0, and yeah, he knows that his record isn't as beefy as is customary for PPV, he admitted he only started boxing at age 17, but that doesn't matter, he's coming to get the KO.
–Romero mocked the size of Tank's head, and said that's going to be fun, aiming at that large target.
–Rolly was then asked if he wasn't excessively angry at Tank, and he said naw, “Just focused.” Tank mocked the underdog, and said if he was focused, his skills would be at a higher level.
“We got a job to do. Murder, murder, murder, kill, kill, kill, that's how we train,” said Romero trainer Bullet Gordon, who promised his guy would be gunning to take down Tank
Calvin Ford, trainer to Tank, kept it short, as he directed Rolly to keep talking, because that helps promote the fight and it will motivate Gervonta to get it done. Co-trainer Barry Hunter at the mic said this: “This fight's not going the distance.”
Tix info is here.