By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Gervonta Davis is open to fighting Vasyl Lomachenko next.
Davis’ one condition is that it would have to be a pay-per-view event, so that he could try to make as much money as possible for that challenging fight. The powerful southpaw views himself as boxing’s next pay-per-view star and considers Lomachenko the perfect opponent to launch that stage of his promising career.
“If they’re ready to put it on pay-per-view, let’s do it,” Davis said Saturday night after his knockout of Jesus Cuellar. “If not, no.”
Baltimore’s Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) hasn’t headlined a prime-time show on premium cable, let alone a pay-per-view event. Davis did appear on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor undercard August 26 in Las Vegas – a pay-per-view extravaganza that generated roughly 4.3 million buys.
While unproven as a headliner, Davis displayed Saturday night why Mayweather, whose company promotes Davis, and others have such high hopes for him.
The 23-year-old Davis destroyed Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs), a former WBA featherweight champion, in a scheduled 12-round fight for the WBA’s then-vacant “super” 130-pound championship. Davis dropped Cuellar once in the second round and twice in the third, when the fight was stopped at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Mayweather surprised fans and media two weeks ago, when the retired superstar said he is open to matching Davis against Lomachenko next. Mayweather previously was opposed to even discussing the idea of a Lomachenko-Davis fight.
“If Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis win that fight [against Cuellar], I already spoke to Todd duBoef from Top Rank,” Mayweather told Showtime’s Jim Gray during an April 7 broadcast from Las Vegas. “We look forward to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis fighting Lomachenko after this fight. We know ‘Tank’ fights in April. Lomachenko fights in May. I already spoke to Top Rank, Todd duBoef, and we’re gonna make that fight happen between Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis.”
Before those discussions can commence, Ukraine’s Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) must beat Venezuela’s Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) in their 12-round fight for Linares’ WBA lightweight title May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York (ESPN). The 30-year-old Lomachenko – who’s commonly considered one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport – will attempt to win a world title in a third weight class when he challenges Linares.
Lomachenko would have to move back down from 135 pounds to 130 to face Davis.
“For me, it really doesn’t matter,” Davis said Saturday night. “I’m a fighter. But whatever my team – I have a great team. I think I have one of the best teams in boxing. If they’re up for it, they say so, I’m wit it.”
Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t headlined a pay-per-view event, either. Most of Lomachenko fights have been broadcast by ESPN and HBO, and as part of pay-per-view undercards.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.