By Keith Idec
Confirming his interest in an MMA fight wasn’t the only news Floyd Mayweather Jr. made Saturday night.
The retired superstar also surprised Showtime’s viewers when he revealed he wants Gervonta Davis to fight Vasyl Lomachenko next. Mayweather made his comments about a Davis-Lomachenko clash during an interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, which aired between the first and second bouts of Showtime’s tripleheader from Las Vegas.
Mayweather, whose promotional company represents Davis, has previously refused to even consider matching the young, powerful former IBF super featherweight champion against Lomachenko. Ukraine’s Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) is commonly considered one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
A potential Davis-Lomachenko match is predicated on them winning their upcoming bouts in New York.
Baltimore’s Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) is scheduled to fight former WBA featherweight champ Jesus Cuellar (28-2, 21 KOs) on April 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime). Lomachenko will attempt to win a world title in a third weight class when he challenges Venezuela’s Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan (ESPN).
“If Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis win that fight, I already spoke to Todd duBoef from Top Rank,” Mayweather told Gray. “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.”
Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotes Lomachenko, who has won world championships at featherweight (126 pounds) and super featherweight (130 pounds). Mayweather has long had a contentious relationship with Arum, his former promoter, but has a cordial relationship with duBoef, Top Rank’s president and Arum’s stepson.
Before Saturday night, Mayweather made it known that he didn’t want to rush the 23-year-old Davis into a fight against the 30-year-old Lomachenko just because fans and media have applied pressure on him to make that bout.
When Davis squares off against Argentina’s Cuellar for a version of the WBA’s super featherweight championship, he will fight for the first time since knocking out Costa Rica’s Francisco Fonseca (21-1-1, 15 KOs) in the eighth round on the Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard August 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Davis lost his IBF 130-pound championship on the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s scale the previous day because he couldn’t make weight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.