ATLANTA – Gervonta Davis should’ve made an important move Saturday night toward securing one of the most anticipated showdowns in boxing.
By winning the WBA’s world lightweight title, Davis should’ve become the mandatory challenger for that sanctioning organization’s “super” lightweight champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Baltimore’s Davis already was the WBA’s No. 1 challenger for Lomachenko’s championship, one spot ahead of second-ranked Yuriorkis Gamboa, whom Davis stopped in the 12th round at State Farm Arena.
Ideally, the WBA would mandate Lomachenko-Davis and force their promoters, Bob Arum (Lomachenko) and Floyd Mayweather (Davis), to either make that fight or force one or both of them to give up their lightweight titles.
Mayweather wasn’t eager to match the younger, developing Davis against Lomachenko when Davis owned 130-pound titles. Even if Mayweather felt Davis was ready for Lomachenko back then, making that fight would’ve been difficult due to their rival promotional and network affiliations.
Regardless, Davis believes Lomachenko would face him because it’d be a more meaningful, profitable fight now than ever before.
Baltimore’s Davis also made it clear that he doesn’t think he needs to fight Lomachenko to validate himself as a WBA lightweight champion.
“I mean, you’re saying ‘moving closer to that fight,’ it’s like he above me,” Davis told BoxingScene.com following his victory over Gamboa. “You know, I don’t feel nobody above me. I’m the cash cow, I believe, at 135, 130. I’m setting all records. I’m putting butts in the seats, so I don’t think he doing that. So, you know, line ‘em up. I’m willing to fight anybody. I’m ready.”
The 25-year-old Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) helped draw an announced crowd of 14,129 to State Farm Arena for his main event versus Cuba’s Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs). Davis’ previous fight, a second-round stoppage of Panama’s Ricardo Nunez on July 28, attracted an announced capacity crowd of 14,686 to Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is expected to battle unbeaten IBF lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) in his next fight. Lomachenko has not signed a contract, though, for a fight Arum hopes to bring to Madison Square Garden in April.
Davis still is certain that the 31-year-old Lomachenko wants to fight him.
“Of course,” Davis said. “I think right now it’s like people will fight me off of – I’m not trying to be cocky – but off of, you know, them making [a lot of money]. It’s a big risk, but also, it’s a big payday, so a lot of people wanna get paid. Like [Lomachenko] is at the end of his career, I believe, so – well, not at the end of his career. He up in age, you know, so he trying to make the biggest fights he can make in a short period of time. So, everybody got they different path. But I’m 25 years old. My stretch a little longer than his, so we takin’ our time.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.