LAS VEGAS – Gervonta Davis appreciates Shawn Porter’s praise.

The former IBF and WBC welterweight champion called Davis one of the best fighters, regardless of weight class, with whom Porter has ever shared the ring. Porter proclaimed Davis as one of the top boxers in the sport following their sparring session in advance of Porter’s 10th-round, technical-knockout defeat to undefeated Terence Crawford in their WBO welterweight title fight November 20 at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.

Davis has long believed what Porter spoke about publicly in recent weeks. The Baltimore native just isn’t sure why more boxing fans and journalists haven’t shared Porter’s opinion of the unbeaten knockout artist’s capabilities.

The 27-year-old Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) has the second-highest knockout ratio among current world champions (96 percent) and has won world titles in three weight classes during his eight-year pro career. He’ll defend the WBA’s secondary lightweight title against Mexico City’s Isaac Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) in the main event of Showtime’s four-fight pay-per-view telecast Sunday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles (8 p.m. ET; 5 p.m. PT; $74.99).

”I always knew that I was, you know, one of them top guys,” Davis said during an open workout recently at the gym owned by his promoter, Floyd Mayweather. “It just people been, you know, in the boxing world, been overlooking my skills, thinking I just, you know, I bang out and stuff like that, I get guys out of there early. But just seeing me get my flowers while I’m here, it means a lot.”

Davis moved up to the junior welterweight division for his last fight – a hard-fought, 11th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten WBA world 140-pound champ Mario Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs). The shorter southpaw sent San Antonio’s Barrios to the canvas twice in the eighth round and once in the 11th round of that Showtime Pay-Per-View main event June 26 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Though he has drawn some criticism for not yet fighting lightweight contemporaries Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia or Teofimo Lopez, Davis believes he has proven himself as an elite talent over the past few years.

“I always knew that I was a top guy,” Davis said. “It just people don’t give me my credit. I don’t know why, but – I don’t know. But I always knew that I was a top guy, from the start.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.