By Keith Idec
LOS ANGELES – Gervonta Davis wasn’t worried Friday that he wouldn’t be able to lose those last two ounces and make weight for his 130-pound title fight Saturday night.
Davis admits, though, that he gained entirely too much weight between the time he last fought nearly 10 months ago and when he began training again late last year.
“I got high [in weight],” Davis told BoxingScene.com in an interview that took place prior to Friday’s weigh-in. ‘I don’t even wanna say [how high]. I got very high. I was bigger than [welterweight] Adrien [Broner] at one point – probably not in weight, but my back and everything was bigger. I couldn’t even fit in any of my pants. I was wearing shorts the whole summer.”
Once Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) finally went back to the gym, the 24-year-old fighter had to ease himself back into training. The Baltimore native was so much heavier than usual, he needed to lose some weight before he could even try training the way he normally does for his fight Saturday night against Hugo Ruiz (39-4, 33 KOs).
“When I first started, I was so big I couldn’t really train right,” Davis said. “I couldn’t train, so I had to take a couple days off to lose some weight – not by training, but just by eating right and certain things like that. I had to knock some pounds off before I actually really trained. I was so heavy, it was crazy.”
Davis declined to specify when asked to pinpoint the heaviest he got after knocking out Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar in the third round April 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. His significant weight gain was so noticeable, though, that his friend, Errol Spence Jr., joked about it while reporters interviewed Spence following the Shawn Porter-Danny Garcia fight September 8 at Barclays Center.
As many pounds as he packed on, once Davis began grinding away at Upton Boxing Center – the same Baltimore gym where he trained as a child – he shed a lot of weight in a short amount of time.
“It wasn’t really tough for me to get back in mode,” Davis said. “But it was just that I couldn’t train how I normally train with all that weight on me. I had to knock it off and then get in the gym and break it down. Once I got in my groove, it wasn’t that hard, though, you know, losing the weight. When you’re not normally that heavy, it’s not that hard. It’s just getting in the gym and then, once you start training, it just comes off.”
However easy it might’ve been to cut weight, Davis’ inability to make 130 pound comfortable became an issue again Friday. He had to step on the scale three times before finally coming in under the super featherweight limit (129.8 pounds) about half an hour after Ruiz made weight on his first try (129½ pounds).
Davis weighed 130.4 pounds the first time he stepped on the CSAC’s scale Friday. Then Davis stripped naked, yet still weighed 130.2 pounds.
He took full advantage of the 30 minutes the CSAC gave him to lose the remaining weight and came in under the 130-pound limit. While he avoided losing a 130-pound championship at a weigh-in for what would’ve been the second time since August 2017, Davis’ trainer, Calvin Ford, recognizes Davis needs to stop adding so much weight between fights.
Ford suspects fighting three times in 2019 will help Davis avoid that trap.
“It’s just sticking to what we did and making him understand that he’s a world champion,” Ford told BoxingScene.com. “It’s just not inside the ring, it’s outside the ring. So everything is coming [together] for him. You know, he’s a man at it. He’s making his decision and understanding what he had to do. Him and [adviser] Al [Haymon], they’ve been talking and the main thing is that he’s got a schedule, so he knows what’s in front of him. He understands what he has to do for his body.”
Showtime will air Davis-Ruiz as the main event of a three-bout broadcast from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The tripleheader will start with a 10-round lightweight match between Las Vegas’ Sharif Bogere (32-1, 20 KOs) and the Dominican Republic’s Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs, 2 NC). After the Fortuna-Bogere bout, San Antonio’s Mario Barrios (22-0, 14 KOs) and Mexico’s Richard Zamora (19-2, 12 KOs) are scheduled to meet in a 10-round welterweight fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.