By Francis Walker, BASN (first presented January 16, 2017)
NEW YORK — Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) last Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, the hard-hitting Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) became the new IBF super featherweight champion.
Davis, a native of Baltimore, MD, has been training since was a young kid. Since age 14, Davis has competed in numerous amateur boxing tournaments having won the Police Athletic League titles, Ringside Tournaments, and the Silver Gloves. After winning a 2012 National Golden Gloves Championship, he finished his amateur career with an impressive 206-15 record.
The road toward winning his first world title was along and most deserved one for Davis, a protégé of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
“It felt great to go in there in front of my fans and take boxing more seriously,” Davis said. “I want to thank Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe, Al Haymon, my hometown support and my team. It means a lot [to win this world title]. I put in hard work. My team put in hard work. We came out on top. I have a great promoter and a great boxer backing me and it felt great.”
As a member of Adrian Broner’s training camp in 2015, David was introduced to Mayweather and signed with Mayweather Promotions. Luckily, it proved to be a wise choice for Mayweather to link-up with Davis. The legendary boxing superstar has another world champion to add to his growing Mayweather Promotions banner.
Davis very poised and focused on dethroning Pedraza. He boxed and moved well, as he smothered Pedraza with powerful two-handed combinations to both the head and body. Although Davis was the smaller man, he had the greater skillset and punished Pedraza with conviction.
“For this training camp, I didn’t want to be around him,” Mayweather said. “I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted him to focus so he could out there and be the best and that’s what he did tonight. Is this the future of boxing? Absa-f***-lutely.”
David appears to have star appeal in a sport where more are needed. He’s smart, he speaks well, and he is anxious to fight as often as possible while making a lot of money doing it.