Finally! Gervaonta “Tank” Davis will officially defend his WBA 130-pound title against former three-weight division world champ Abner Mares on February 9th at the StubHub Center. The fight has been rumored and talked about and flirted with for months now, rumors go back to this summer when Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather promotions tweeted us a teaser about the fight. The teaser was met with mixed reviews. Abner Mares is a great fighter a borderline hall of fame fighter. A win over Tank would propel him into the elite group of four division world champs and would likely be the win he needs to write his ticket into the boxing hall of fame as well.
There is nothing wrong with Tank Davis vs Abner Mares, its two excellent world-class fighters, both still in their prime-ish part of their careers. One just entering his prime and another at the tail end of his prime. They are two all-action, fan-friendly fighters who never produce a boring fight. Mares was half of what was fight of the year type warfare again this year with Leo Santa Cruz. Before that, he blew away Andres Gutierrez and before that captured the 126-pound WBA belt by upsetting rugged veteran Jesus Cuellar at the end of 2016. Mares has had an excellent career and beat a plethora of top names and always giving the fans bang for their buck, consistently, going all the way back to 2010 when he burst on the scene as an underdog and fought the heavily favored Yonnhy Perez, who had captured the IBF by upsetting Joseph Agbeko, to a disputed draw. A fight most thought Mares won. In the eight years since Mares fought the best of the best and captured titles at bantamweight, super bantamweight, and featherweight. He captured victories over the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko X2, Eric Morel, Anselmo Moreno, and Daniel Ponce De Leon creating a fan base among Mexican American fans, local hometown California fans and throughout the boxing world.
So what’s the problem with Mares getting a chance at Tank Davis? Nothing, really…. except he isn’t going to win, we all know he isn’t going to win and no one really wants the fight. Mares has earned a chance to fight at the world class level for as long as he wants to. He’s earned that in the ring. However, he started at bantamweight and was outsized and outmuscled by Leo Santa Cruz just a few months ago at 126 and now jumping up from a weight class you weren’t really big enough to be in to start with to go face a big strong, 24-year-old, massive puncher, who is bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic than you is a recipe for disaster. Plus, with all of the talent at 130, Miguel Berchelt, Vasyl Lomachenko (who currently campaigns at 135 but is too small for the division) Tevin Farmer, Alberto Machado, and fellow unbeaten 24-year old Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov there is absolutely no reason to fight Mares.
Davis looked like a unique talent and appeared to be on the fast track to being the next cross-over superstar who would replace Floyd Mayweather as the face of the sport when he knocked out Jose Pedraza and Liam Walsh in a matter of four months. Then everything seemed to hit a snag, he has fought just twice in the 18+ months since knocking out Walsh. He lost his belt on the scale and stopped Francisco Fonseca in a lethargic effort and came back eight months later and destroyed a blown up Jesus Cellular, leaving Tanks career idling in neutral for the past year and a half. Fighting another blown up B=Bantam, albeit a great little guy, will do nothing to change the mind of the detractors and the haters and will not propel his career forward in any meaningful way at all.