2017 was actually a really good year for Gervonta “Tank” Davis in the ring. He won his first world title at just 22 years old the IBF version of the 130-pound championship, in knocking out the undefeated Jose Pedraza. In May he had perhaps his most impressive performance to date a three-round annihilation of Liam Walsh in front of his home crowd in the UK as well as knocking out unbeaten Francisco Fonseca in August. That’s 3-0 with 3KO’s and stealing three “0”s his opponents had a combined record of 62-0-1. You will be hard-pressed to find many 2017 resumes better than that.
For having such an impressive year, Tank’s reputation has taken quite a hit. Due to some out of the ring troubles, Davis found himself in, but mostly due to his last performance. His 8th round knockout over Fransisco Fonseca, in which Tank did underwhelm, in what was supposed to be a showcase fight, on the biggest PPV card of the year in front of millions of viewers. Tank underwhelmed in the ring and missed weight surrendering his 130-pound strap. Just as a reminder Floyd Mayweather and Mikey Garcia have missed weight and this has not demolished their rep’s or legacy in anyway shape or form, so let’s have a little intellectually consistency when it comes to Tank Davis. Either way in the court of public opinion Tank Davis is overrated and on the path to self-destruction and being the next Adrien Broner.
Here are five fights for Tank Davis to rebuild his name and reputation in the court of public opinion and no, fighting Loma would not be great right now. He needs to win some of the fights below to maximize the Loma fight monetarily.
Miguel Berchelt- The current WBC 130 pound champ has put together a very impressive 2017, which includes a knockout victory over the then-unbeaten Francisco Vargas and a lopsided decision over Takashi Miura. Berchelt is currently ranked #9 on the 3DBoxing Pound for Pound list and has built a large following due to his fan-friendly style. Berchelt would represent a major step up to the most elite of levels as well as Tank’s biggest payday as well. Also, it’s a fight he may not be favored in. A win over Berchelt would fast-track Tank back into the most elite levels and wash out the bad taste in the mouth of fight fans left behind from missing weight and the Fonseca performance.
Jorge Linares- If missing weight in his last fight is any indication that Tank can no longer make 130 pounds, this would be a great move up for Tank. With Mikey Garcia moving to 140, Linares is considered by most boxing pundits as the best lightweight in the world. The Venezuelan native has put together some good wins over guys like Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Coralla twice, and Luke Campbell. Those are nice wins but he is still looking for a career-defining victory and a big money fight. Tank Davis would represent that opportunity. Linares is the current WBA lightweight strap holder and would give Davis the opportunity to be a two-division champion at the early age of just 23.
Albert Machado- The 27-year-old Puerto Rican just had a come from behind star-making performance in knocking out Jezreel Corrales in the eighth round to capture the WBA 130 pound strap. Machado is undefeated 19-0 (16) and has the type of one punch power that will keep him in any fight and sell a lot of tickets. Davis would have a big advantage in the speed department, however, if Machado could turn this into a slugfest, this one could produce plenty of fireworks. As a Puerto Rican Machado would have a natural ability to sell a lot of tickets in New York and would make either MSG or The Barclays Center a perfect home for a Machado/Davis fight.
Robert Easter Jr- Both the Easter bunny and Tank represent the new era of exciting American fighters. Both fighters possess excellent power, speed, and skill. Easter Jr, the current IBF lightweight champ has an upcoming defense against Javier Fortuna in the Spence/Peterson undercard. Should Easter get past Fortuna, he could headline his own mega fight against Tank. Easter Jr has built a huge following in his hometown of Toledo Ohio as well as a fan base throughout the country. The winner of an Easter Jr/Davis fight would put the victor on the fast track to being America’s next young superstar and the king of the lightweight division if Mikey Garica stays at 140.
Miguel ” Mickey” Roman- Roman the 32-year-old Mexican warrior is a veteran of 70 pro-bouts and can’t make a boring fight. Roman is coming off the biggest win of his career a knockout of fellow Mexican warrior Orlando Salido, a candidate for fight of the year in which both fighters were hurt on multiple occasions before referee Robert Byrd rescued Salido in the ninth round. A Roman/Davis fight would be a can’t miss action fight in which the ferocious and relentless Roman would chase down and attack the much faster and more athletic Tank Davis in an attempt to turn this into a phonebooth fight. Both fighters possess excellent one-punch power and exciting styles that could produce another fight of the year or knockout of the year type of fight.