Gervonta Davis is leaving no stone unturned for his lightweight debut.
The unbeaten two-time junior lightweight titlist is now focused on becoming a two-division title claimant ahead of his Dec. 28 showdown versus Yuriorkis Gamboa. The Showtime-televised headliner will take come with a vacant lightweight belt at stake, live from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Some have dismissed the bout as yet another showcase for Baltimore's Davis, who calls Atlanta his second hometown in bringing the city its first major boxing event since 1998. The 25-year old southpaw doesn't see it that way, at least not as he prepares for the event.
“Gamboa was gold medalist, he’s a tough opponent and I am testing the waters at lightweight,” Davis (22-0, 21KOs) pointed out during a press conference held Tuesday in Atlanta. “I believe this is my biggest test.”
The argument against such a sales pitch is that Gamboa—who turns 38 just days before their fight—has seen better days. The Miami-based Cuban southpaw claimed Olympic Gold in the 2004 Athens Olympics and has claimed title wins at featherweight and junior lightweight (along with an interim title win at lightweight), but none of which has occurred since 2013.
Still, Gamboa (30-2, 18KOs) enters this bout riding a four-fight win streak, including a two-round blitzing of former 130-pound titlist Rocky Martinez this past July. The bout took place on the undercard of Davis' homecoming title defense, delivering a 2nd round knockout of his own versus mandatory challenger Ricardo Nuñez but getting a close enough look at his next opponent to know not to cut any corners in training camp.
“He's a three-time world champion," notes Davis. “I’m sparring with younger guys—younger than me to make sure we are ready for him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox