An entertaining mismatch. That's the best way to describe Gervonta “Tank” Davis vs. Rolly Romero Saturday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Gervonta Davis (26-0, 24 KOs), a southpaw from Baltimore, will defend the WBA ‘regular' lightweight title, a secondary title, for the fourth time. He is coming off a hard-fought 12-round unanimous decision triumph over Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz last December 5 at Staples Center—now known as Crypto Arena—in Los Angeles.
Romero (14-0, 12 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, steps into the ring for his first significant fight as a pro. He won the interim WBA 135-pound title with a highly controversial 12-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Jackson Marinez in August 2020 in Connecticut. He defended the belt two bouts later last July with a seventh-round stoppage over Anthony Yigit, who was ineligible to win the belt after missing weight by 5.2 pounds.
There is a lot at stake in this fight. The winner, I think Gervonta, will earn a potential shot against unified world champion George Kambosos Jr., who is the undisputed lightweight champion depending on whom you ask. The WBA/WBO/IBF/WBC “Franchise” titlist faces WBC titleholder Devin Haney on June 4 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, to settle the debate.
The WBA isn't any less confusing. They recognize two classes of champions, Regular, and Super. Gilberto Mendoza has promised multiple times to cut back on the number of belts. And to no one's surprise, nothing has really changed.
Now let's take a deep dive into the fight.
Stylistically, Davis and Romero will be an entertaining fight for as long as it lasts. These are two power punchers who love to bang. Romero, in particular, has an erratic and awkward style that could confuse his opponent in the early rounds. He's a street fighter in a sense because his technique isn't the greatest; his defense isn't there, but Romero has power. He has a puncher's chance, but will he be able to withstand Gervonta?
When you're fighting Davis, you're not dealing with a regular fighter. Gervonta has many elements to his game, including speed, power, timing, accuracy, and precision. This will be a weird comparison but think about a plain potato mix. It tastes okay; it gets the job done, but you know a better mix out there can blow it out of the water. Once you discover this new blend, it's a whole new kick. Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and butter. It changes the game.
Tank is the whole package. He is smooth, picks his shots well, and when he lands, it stings. And like a good habanero, if you eat too many at once, it's going to be pretty overwhelming. And that will eventually crumble Romero in this fight.
Gervonta is typically a slow starter, so I expect him to take the first couple of rounds to figure out Romero, who will perform his best Ricardo Mayorga impersonation en route to landing some solid punches.
But Davis will inevitably figure him out, and when he does, it will be ugly.
Prediction: Gervonta by sixth-round KO