Teofimo Lopez is much more concerned with his own fight versus Vasiliy Lomachenko, but he did take notice of Gervonta Davis’ lightweight debut.
Davis initially came in overweight for his fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa on December 28. Though he eventually made weight, Davis drew criticism for not stopping an injured, 38-year-old Gamboa until the 12th round of their fight for the then-vacant WBA world 135-pound championship at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Lopez respects Davis’ power and skill, but the unbeaten IBF lightweight champion believes Davis’ discipline issues have prevented him from maximizing his potential.
Baltimore’s Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) was stripped of his IBF junior lightweight title because he came in two pounds overweight for his 12-round, 130-pound title fight against Francisco Fonseca in August 2017 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Davis defeated Nicaragua’s Fonseca by eighth-round knockout on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard, but he still is having difficulty making weight, most recently for the Gamboa bout.
“The only problem with Gervonta Davis is his discipline,” Lopez told BoxingScene.com. “He has no discipline. That’s what wins us fights. Obviously, it’s catching up to him. Because with Gamboa, someone that was injured from the second round on, he couldn’t do anything to him until the last round, the 12th round. It’s catching up to him, little by little. They’re putting him with guys that they have 100-percent confidence that he’ll beat, but yet he had a difficult time with someone like [Gamboa].
“Maybe he just had a bad night, but he was overweight at 135, going up in weight for the first time. And it’s a five-pound difference [from the junior lightweight division]. It’s not a four-pound difference, like when you go up from 126 to 130. It’s five pounds. You can’t even make that, you’ve got a problem. That’s a big problem. You know, that’s a big, big problem. Things like that don’t look good on your resume.”
Davis weighed in at 136¼ pounds the first time he stepped on the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission’s scale the day before he boxed Gamboa. He weighed 134½ pounds the second time he weighed in December 27.
Cuba’s Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) suffered a tear to his right Achilles tendon in the second round of his loss to Davis, who scored knockdowns in the second, eighth and 12th rounds. Gamboa, a three-division champion, announced two months ago that he would have surgery to repair that injury.
The 25-year-old Davis is likely to face four-division champion Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) when fights can be scheduled again at the conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic. The 22-year-old Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) is supposed to face Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in a lightweight title unification bout, but his shot at the WBA/WBO 135-pound champion has been pushed back indefinitely from May 30, the date on which their handlers had been negotiating for them to fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.