Gervonta 'Tank' Davis entered talks for his most recent fight with three different divisional titles in tow.
That load has been reduced to one.
The unbeaten southpaw has formally relinquished the WBA “World” junior welterweight title, the sanctioning body confirmed Tuesday. The development comes in the wake of Davis’ most recent win, outlasting a determined Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-2-1, 15KOs) to successfully defend his WBA “World” lightweight title this past Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Baltimore’s Davis (26-0, 24KOs) was permitted to enter the Showtime Pay-Per-View event with both the 135- and 140-pound title in his possession, on the condition that he decided after the fight which belt he planned to keep and defend. That choice has now been made.
“Gervonta Davis informed the WBA that he will only keep his Lightweight belt,” Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, longtime president of the WBA announced Tuesday. “Gervonta had five days after his fight last Sunday to choose a division and he decided to stay at 135 pounds.”
Davis won the WBA “World” junior welterweight title following an eleventh-round knockout of unbeaten Mario Barrios this past June 26 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. He entered the fight having held the WBA “Super” junior lightweight title—which he reclaimed in a sixth-round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz last Halloween—and the WBA “World” lightweight belt he’s held since a 12th round stoppage of Yuriorkis Gamboa in December 2019.
His multi-divisional reign was in jeopardy after the WBA began its aggressive—and forced—efforts to reduce its number of recognized titlists. Davis agreed to relinquish his junior lightweight belt, though requesting permission to enter his December 5 bout with the lightweight and junior welterweight titles. The decision to turn over his junior welterweight belt leaves his reign as a one-fight stop in the highest weight division of his career.
Davis made the first defense of the WBA “World” lightweight title in his win over Cruz, who replaced originally scheduled opponent and mandatory challenger Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero (14-0, 12KOs). George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10KOs) holds the WBA “Super” belt, in addition to the WBO, IBF and lineal titles—all of which were claimed in his unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. (16-1, 12KOs) on November 27 in New York City.
Meanwhile, the junior welterweight division title picture now solely belongs to undisputed champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13KOs). There are no longer any secondary titlists in the division, though Scotland’s Taylor is now overrun with mandatory title defenses.
The first comes February 26 versus WBO number-one contender Jack Catterall in Glasgow, Scotland. Waiting in the wings will be the benefactor of Davis’ latest move, Dominican Republic’s Alberto Puello (19-0, 10KOs) who previously held the WBA “interim title before the belts were removed from circulation on August 25. Puello was inserted as the number-one contender, having previously campaigned for a shot at Davis.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox