SAN ANTONIO – Gervonta Davis has higher-profile opportunities within the lightweight division, but the unbeaten knockout artist is open to remaining at junior lightweight for his next fight.
Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather, declined to discuss specific possible opponents during a post-fight press conference following his spectacular sixth-round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night at Alamodome. Undefeated unified champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), WBC world champ Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) are potential opponents at the 135-pound limit, yet Davis made the 130-pound limit more comfortably Friday than usual because he prepared properly for three months at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas.
“I feel strong at 130,” said Davis, who will continue training at Mayweather Boxing Club. “I think this my natural weight. It’s just up to me to stay in the gym and stay fit, you know, and be a full-time athlete, instead of just part-time. I definitely feel good at 130, but you know, if a good opportunity [comes up] at 135, I’m champion at 135, so we can make it happen at 135.”
The 25-year-old Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) won the WBA “super” 130-pound crown for a second time by beating Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs).
The Baltimore native is the WBA’s legitimate champion at 130 pounds, but he holds the WBA’s secondary “world” title in the lightweight division. Brooklyn’s Lopez is recognized as the WBA’s true lightweight champ after winning the WBA “super” 135-pound championship from Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision to Lopez on October 17 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Davis’ potential opponents at the 130-pound limit mostly are less appealing from promotional and purse perspectives than Lopez, Haney or Garcia at the lightweight maximum. Garcia, of course, would need to defeat England’s Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) on December 5 in Indio, California, to remain a top option for Davis.
Besides Davis, the recognized champions at 130 pounds are Miguel Berchelt (WBC), Joseph Diaz Jr. (IBF) and Jamel Herring (WBO). All three of those 130-pound champions have fights that either are already scheduled or are targeted for early in 2021.
Berchelt (38-1, 34 KOs) is scheduled to oppose Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs) on December 12 in Las Vegas. Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs) likely will face former champ Tevin Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs, 1 NC) in an immediate rematch, whereas Herring is expected to fight former two-division champion Carl Frampton (28-2, 16 KOs) in his next bout.
Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs), the long-reigning WBC featherweight champion, is more than willing to move up from 126 pounds to 130 for the opportunity to battle Davis.
“I can fight at both [weights], I think so,” Davis said. “You know, just the best opportunity. I’m definitely the champ at both.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.