By Keith Idec
The weigh-in Friday for his fight against Jesus Cuellar represented progress for Gervonta Davis.
For the first time in three fights, Davis made weight on his first attempt when he stepped on the New York State Athletic Commission’s scale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The powerful southpaw officially weighed 129 pounds for his 12-round, 130-pound championship match with Cuellar.
Argentina’s Cuellar got on the NYSAC’s scale at 129¼ pounds.
Baltimore’s Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) and Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) will fight for a vacant version of the WBA’s super featherweight title in the opener of Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night at Barclays Center (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). The 31-year-old Cuellar has moved up from featherweight to super featherweight for this title shot against the talented Davis, who has had trouble making weight over the past year.
“Amazing,” Davis told Showtime’s Steve Farhood following the weigh-in. “I had a great camp. When I’m focused, you know, a focused ‘Tank’ is a dangerous ‘Tank.’ So I’m ready.”
The 23-year-old Davis lost the IBF super featherweight on the scale before his last bout because he couldn’t make weight.
Davis couldn’t get lower than 132 pounds for what was supposed to be a 130-pound title defense against Francisco Fonseca on August 26 in Las Vegas. The IBF stripped Davis of his title, but he was able to knock out Costa Rica’s Fonseca (21-1-1, 15 KOs) in the eighth round of their fight on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor undercard at T-Mobile Arena.
Three months earlier, Davis had to weigh in twice for his first title defense against England’s Liam Walsh. He got down to 130 pounds on his second attempt and stopped Walsh (21-1, 14 KOs) in the third round May 20 in London.
Losing his title at a weigh-in before his following fight convinced Davis to move his training camp from Baltimore to West Palm Beach, Florida. That’s where he worked with new trainer Kevin Cunningham to get ready for the Cuellar fight.
“Moving my camp from Baltimore to Florida, you know, I ain’t had no distractions,” Davis said. “Just waking up, boxing and going to sleep, boxing. And I knew what I was coming to do when I woke up in the morning, and I’m ready.”
Davis will fight Saturday night for the first time in the nearly eight months since he defeated Fonseca, but Cuellar will end a much longer layoff. Cuellar hasn’t fought in 16 months, not since losing his WBA world featherweight title to Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs), who won a 12-round split decision against him in December 2016 at USC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.