By Lem Satterfield
A grudge match of 130-pound southpaws between Baltimore’s WBA “super” champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and IBF counterpart Tevin Farmer is “probably inevitable” and “a meaningful possibility” for 2019, Farmer’s promoter, Lou DiBella told Tha Boxing Voice during a Tuesday podcast hosted by Nestor Gibbs, Ronald Goodall, Michael Gross and Mario Mungia.
“You could probably see a Gervonta Davis fight [with Farmer.] I think it’s probably inevitable,” said DiBella. “If it happens in 2019 it will be late in the year. It won’t be early because of Tevin’s contract with DAZN. But late in the year, it’s certainly a meaningful possibility.”
The 24-year-old Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) will pursue his 12th straight knockout and first defense on February 9 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, against three-division champion Abner Mares (31-3-1, 15 KOs), who will make his 130-pound debut on Showtime.
Farmer (28-4-1, 6 KOs) earned his 21st consecutive victory and second defense against Francisco Fonseca (22-2-1, 19 KOs) last month at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In August, the 28-year-old Farmer traveled to Australia to win the vacant crown by near shutout (120-107, 119-108, 118-109) unanimous decision over Billy Dib, dropping the former IBF featherweight champion with a clean left hand in the ninth-round.
In October, Farmer scored two knockdowns during a fifth-round KO of Ireland’s James Tennyson (22-3, 18 KOs), ending the loser’s six fight winning streak, including five knockouts in a row. Tennyson was Farmer’s first KO since an eighth-round stoppage of Daulis Prescott in August 2015, a span of 38 months.
The 24-year-old Fonseca had won three straight since August 2017, when a one-knockdown, eighth-round stoppage loss to two-time 130-pound champion Davis ended his run of five straight stoppage wins.
Farmer has gone 20-0 with five knockouts since October 2012, when a seventh-round TKO as a late replacement to Puerto Rican Olympian Jose “Sniper” Pedraza improved the winner to 11-0 with seven knockouts.
A two-division title winner and current WBO 135-pound champion, Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) lost last month’s unification by two-knockdown, unanimous decision to WBA counterpart Vasyl Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), a three-division title-winner and two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist.
Davis’ seventh-round TKO dethroned Pedraza (January 2017), representing “Tank’s” eighth consecutive stoppage, claiming a world title in his first try and, at age 22, making him boxing’s youngest reigning champion. Davis also became the second youngest champion from his hometown of Baltimore and the first Baltimore boxer to hold a title in any division since Hasim Rahman upset Lennox Lewis for the heavyweight crown in April 2001.
For his initial IBF title defense in May 2017, Davis traveled to London, where he dropped and stopped previously undefeated southpaw Liam Walsh (21-1, 14 KOs) in the third round in front of Walsh’s hometown fans.
But Davis lost his crown on the scales before his second defense against Fonseca on the under card of Floyd Mayweather’s 10th-round TKO of Conor McGregor.
Davis became a two-time champion with April’s WBA "super" super featherweight title-earning two-knockdown third-round TKO of fellow southpaw Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs), of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In victory over Cuellar, Davis returned to Barclays Center where he defeated Pedraza.
Mares had previously beaten Cuellar in December 2016 by split-decision for a WBA 126-pound title.