His performance on fight night will ultimately reveal if the move to lightweight was the right call, but Gervonta Davis is already reaping the benefits of being able to carry five extra pounds.

“I don't want to say easier, but I definitely got in shape way quicker,” Davis (22-0, 21KOs) said during a recent conference call of preparation for his Dec. 28 Showtime-headlining lightweight clash versus Yuriorkis Gamboa at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. “I started running at this highest speed level. I don't know, it just went way quicker for this camp than it previously did.

“I'm excited to see how it makes a difference on Dec. 28.”

The bout will mark Davis’ first outside the 130-pound division since his last days as a rising contender in 2016. The hard-hitting southpaw from Baltimore, Maryland has technically fought as a lightweight on several occasions on the way up the ranks, although a common practice for young prospects and contenders competing in non-title fights.

His Jan. 2017 title win over Jose Pedraza marked the first of six straight bouts for Davis exclusively as a junior lightweight, where he has enjoyed two title reigns. The first ended at the scales, when he badly missed weight for an Aug. 2017 win over unbeaten Francisco Fonseca. Three knockout wins have followed, all lasting a combined six rounds including a two-round wipeout of Ricardo Nuñez in the second and final defense of his second title reign before deciding to move up in weight.

The bout with Gamboa (30-2, 18KOs) will come with a lightweight belt at stake, a motivating factor behind Davis moving up the scale. So far, it’s a perfect fit although the real proof will come once he’s in the ring.

“It's possible [for lightweight] to be a better weight class… I didn't fight at that weight yet so I don't know,” Davis notes. “It's been a great training camp, but it's not about training; it's about what you do on fight night.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox