‘The one’ Gervonta Davis makes the maiden defence of his IBF world super featherweight title as he travels over the Atlantic to face undefeated English fighter Liam Walsh at the Copperbox Arena in London on May 20th.
Davis also known as ‘Tank’ is one of the real breakthrough stars on the world level scene. From the mean streets of Baltimore, Maryland, his rise has been meteoric. His demolition job of the formerly undefeated champion Jose Pedraza in his last fight sent out a statement of intent to the rest of the division and confirmed that he has real substance behind the hype.
Whilst some are quick to cast aside Pedraza as being a weak champion, he is still a solid fighter that has beaten some decent operators such as Britain’s Stephen Smith so I believe that you can take a lot out of Davis’ swift dealings with the Puerto Rican.
A lot has been made in the Walsh camp that Gervonta is lacking experience over the 30 year old, however, this may well just be down to the fact Gervonta is still only 22 years of age because neither fighter has a wealth of experience at the top table of the sport.
In fact, despite his tender age Gervonta has banked over 200 rounds as an amateur. He has an exceptional amateur pedigree. He finished his amateur career with a record of 206W-15L before making his professional debut at the age of just eighteen, knocking out Desi Williams in the first round.
Of course sparring is not fighting but Davis will also have been exposed to the very best competition in the Mayweather Gym over in Las Vegas. Iron sharpens irons as they say…
Under the guidance of Frank Warren, Liam Walsh has followed the well trodden path that has developed many great British fighters through the pro ranks. He has picked up the British, Commonwealth, and European Lightweight titles on route to this world title shot. His record currently stands at an unblemished 21-0.
Walsh is sounding very self confident in the build up. He has stated his belief that Davis’ power is overated and that he needs to land two, three even four shots to floor his opponents.
He certainly has the strong mentality of a man who has not tasted defeat but the fact is when a fighter has a very high knockout percentage the stats usually do not lie in that regard. From Davis’ 17 wins, 16 have come via way of knockout. If Walsh really disregards his power like he says he can, he could get hurt.
Although Walsh has a relatively low profile he is not to be underestimated. He has looked good against domestic level opposition. He will be looking to have the superior output with his volume punching. He switches up well from body to head and has a propensity for a bit of a tear up. For his height he is certainly not a fighter who will be content with sitting behind a long jab all night.
Walsh will stand an inch and half taller but Davis has a long reach for his height so it remains to be seen whether this will be a physical attribute for the Englishman come fight night.
I would edge towards Gervonta Davis to retain his title. I don’t believe Floyd Mayweather will have sent his newly crowned world champion to fight on foreign soil if he wasn’t confident of a win.
Additionally, I just think Gervonta has the superior power and is more compact and this will ultimately tell in the exchanges. Walsh has not faced a big puncher in his career yet and this may have given him a false sense of how good his chin is.
I don’t expect Walsh to be given the luxury to fire off four and five punch combinations without shipping something heavy back in return. Both are hungry fighters and this may well develop into a really entertaining fight.