By Keith Idec
Gervonta Davis and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe would only say Wednesday that they were close to securing Davis’ next opponent.
That opponent probably will be Billy Dib. An ESPN.com story posted Thursday stated that representatives for Davis and Dib are close to finalizing a deal for them to fight April 21 on the Adrien Broner-Omar Figueroa undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
An IBF purse bid for a Davis-Dib elimination match was postponed Thursday from Monday until February 6 because the two sides reportedly are close to completing contracts for their fight.
Davis’ return was officially announced Wednesday as part of Showtime’s “2018 Boxing Upfront” event, during which the network announced its schedule through June 16.
Baltimore’s Davis, 23, lost the IBF super featherweight title on the scale the day before his last fight. A day after failing to make weight for his 130-pound title defense, Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) knocked out Costa Rica’s Francisco Fonseca (21-1-1, 15 KOs) in the eighth round on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor undercard August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Davis emphasized Wednesday that he learned from that costly mistake. He also assured reporters that he can make 130 pounds for the foreseeable future.
Davis also failed to make weight on his first attempt prior to his previous title defense. He eventually met the 130-pound limit for that fight, a third-round stoppage of England’s Liam Walsh (21-1, 14 KOs) on May 20 in London.
Australia’s Dib, 32, most recently defeated Thailand’s Phum Kunmat (24-24-2, 16 KOs) in Five Dock, Australia. Dib (43-4, 24 KOs, 2 NC) is ranked No. 3 among the IBF’s 130-pound contenders, two spots ahead of Davis.
Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) is the IBF’s super featherweight champion. Ogawa was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission last week, however, for failing a performance-enhancing drug test following his controversial split-decision defeat of Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs) in their fight for the then-vacant IBF title December 9 in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.