Five weight classes in, and Naoya Inoue hasn’t found a single fighter that can push him to his physical limits. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
After taking care of business in the bantamweight division, Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) looked around despondently. There was simply nothing more to prove. Becoming an undisputed world champion was a fun journey but after placing a checkmark next to that goal, the 30-year-old Japanese star needed something new to conquer.
Stephen Fulton became the perfect target. He was a well known name, had an undefeated record, was as skillful as they come, and most importantly, held both the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles.
A matchup between them was expected to be tit for tat. However, this past Tuesday morning, Inoue bulldozed the Philly native, winning via eighth-round stoppage. The rest of the super bantamweight division, as well as the elite at 130 pounds, may not contain a single fighter who’s equipped to truly challenge him.
So, with fans and media pundits desperate to find Inoue a worthy foe, the name Gervonta “Tank” Davis has been thrown around. The 28-year-old explosive puncher currently campaigns at 135 pounds. Still, despite the weight difference, Stephen Espinoza, President of Showtime Sports, recently admitted that a matchup between them is more pragmatic than many realize.
As that possible mega showdown continues to simmer, Kenny Ellis, Davis’ assistant trainer, laughs whenever Inoue’s name is brought up in the same breath as Davis.
“Tank too big, too strong,” explained Ellis during an interview with MillCity Boxing.
Davis, in many ways, has rolled through his competition analogously to the way Inoue has. When last seen, the Baltimore star violently ended the night of Ryan Garcia, brutally stopping his man in the seventh round earlier this year.
By and large, Calvin Ford, his head trainer, instructs Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) to go out and punish his opponents. While he's great in his own right and essentially cemented himself as a future Hall of Famer, Ellis gives him a zero percent chance to be even competitive with Davis.
“He can’t beat no damn Tank. He too small. Tank would destroy that kid.”