You could feel it through the TV speakers on Saturday night. When Gervonta “Tank Davis” demolished Frank Martin with the combination of a left uppercut wrecking ball and a straight left battering ram, then climbed to the top rope and proceeded to stick his moonsault, there was a wall of sound vibrating across my living room.

It was a pop, a buzz, and a roar all rolled into one. It’s the sound I most associate with the wildest moments of a handful of Felix Trinidad triumphs at Madison Square Garden. It’s the reverberation created when a throng of passionate fight fans, who have shown up ready to eat out of their favorite boxer’s hand, get treated to that boxer giving them precisely what they came to see and more. 

There was every reason to believe going into Saturday that the next American boxing superstar would be in the building at the MGM Grand, but it was fair to wonder if it was Davis or David Benavidez who had the inside track.

Wonder no more. Benavidez was adequate. He got the job done. He kept the door to superstardom open.

Tank knocked the door clean off its hinges.

This was classic Tank Davis. He shows patience, he loses some rounds, he makes you wonder if this is the night someone solves him, and then all of a sudden it’s over and the violent highlight clip is ripping through social media.

After Martin built a lead through three rounds, Davis’ pressure gradually, subtly took over. There were moments in the sixth and seventh rounds when he would back Martin up against the ropes, and his every feint would freeze “The Ghost” for just a fraction of a second. Tank had him where he wanted him. It was just a matter of when the crescendo would come.

The answer arrived at 1:29 of round 8. Just like that, Martin went from a live ‘dog to a line on a future Hall of Famer’s record.

Attention turned quickly to what’s next. Asked who he has his eye on, Davis answered, “All of them.”

If he won’t get specific, I will. Davis, who weighed 133½ pounds and carried it well, clearly is having no trouble fighting at lightweight, but as he showed against Mario Barrios three years ago, he can also carry 140 just fine. Those are two loaded divisions, and Tank has no shortage of options. Here are the five that appeal most:

  1. William Zepeda

If this fight happens and you’re one of the two people working the CompuBox controls for it, there’s no question which fighter you want your fingers to be assigned to. This is the ultimate output animal against the master of efficiency. Davis throws only as many punches as he needs to. Zepeda throws absolutely as many as he’s able to.

It’s a fascinating clash of styles, a fight without an obvious outcome (though Davis would certainly be favored at the sportsbooks), and a pairing that couldn’t possibly produce a dull moment.

It’s also the least ready to sell on pay-per-view of the fights on this list, hence its appearance down here at No. 5. The undefeated Mexican Zepeda is building his following and his resume, but he’s not quite there yet — especially when the best opponent he’s beaten is probably Mercito Gesta.

Pencil this one in as perhaps a 2026 dream fight. After all, Davis has other options to occupy him between now and then …

  1. Isaac Cruz

Davis has 30 wins and 28 knockouts. In his ninth pro fight, a journeyman named German Ivan Meraz took him the six-round distance, losing 60-52 on all cards after hitting the canvas twice. “Pitbull” Cruz is the only man Davis has faced whom he could knock neither down nor out. And he could barely even defeat him. Scores after 12 rounds were 116-112 and 115-113 twice, and not everyone was convinced Tank deserved the win.

Since then, Cruz has won four straight, three by KO, including a delightful walloping of Rolando Romero on the first PBC/Prime pay-per-view of the year. Mexican and Mexican-American fans have quickly come to love this guy, as have nationality-independent generally bloodthirsty boxing aficionados.

A rematch is warranted, figures to sell much bigger than it did in 2021, and represents an important opportunity for Davis to clean up the closest thing on his ring resume to a blemish.

  1. Teofimo Lopez

Fighters chasing hollow history by claiming dime-a-dozen alphabet belts don’t interest me. But if there’s a lineal title on the line, a chance for a star to become the clear-cut king of a new division with a single victory, I’m automatically on board.

Lopez’s stock is not at its highest right now. He’s coming off an absolutely dreadful win over Jamaine Ortiz, a fight as unwatchable as it was inconclusive, and that’s earned him a date with Steve Claggett in two weeks that has all the buzz of a new single from Third Eye Blind.

But when he’s at his best — as he was upsetting Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020 and Josh Taylor in 2023 — he’s every bit as magnificent and mesmerizing in his own way as Tank is. And he did cleanly beat the man, Taylor, who beat Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez to indisputably become the man, so Davis should be attracted to this fight for the opportunity to himself become the man at 140 pounds.

Not to mention, it would tick off another box on the Four Princes (trademark Kieran Mulvaney) round robin checklist, while perhaps solidifying Davis as the king among those princes.

  1. Vasyl Lomachenko

This is allegedly the fight Davis is keying in on next, and why not? It’s a fascinating crossroads fight between the ultimate freakishly gifted lightweight technician and the ultimate freakishly gifted lightweight puncher, and the timing suddenly seems perfect.

With Loma 36 years old, there’s a now-or-never feel to it, though he’s still damned close to his prime. In his last two fights, he fought at worst even-up with Devin Haney (regardless of what the judges said) and then became the first man to stop George Kambosos. He remains a puzzle few have come close to solving, and is in many ways the perfect test of just how skilled Davis is and just how steep a challenge his power can overcome.

Lomachenko is not a massive ticket-selling star like Davis, but he has been at the top long enough that his name is reasonably mainstream; for that casual fan whose ability to name boxers extends only as far as the dozen or so fighters who regularly get their highlights on SportsCenter, Loma is likely above that cut line.

In other words, this would be a fabulous fight and a moneymaker for all involved. There’s nothing not to like about this, unless you’re a diehard Lomachenko stan who doesn’t want to risk seeing someone knock him cold, as Davis plausibly could.

  1. Shakur Stevenson

Admittedly, the iron is not hot right now with Stevenson. The iron is barely room temperature. Shakur’s last fight, against Edwin de los Santos last November, was a narcolepsy trigger from the first bell to the last, and even if de los Santos deserves the bulk of the blame for that, any career momentum Shakur had going stalled out on the spot.

Davis’ people are no doubt watching to see how Stevenson performs on July 6 against Artem Harutyunyan before making any decisions. But barring something spectacular in Newark that night, the sensible plan is for Tank to face Loma first, while that particular iron is sizzling, and if all goes well, think about lining up the 2016 silver medalist next.

But screw sensible. Davis vs. Stevenson is the dream fight for the hardcore fans, regardless of whether it’s the most marketable. It’s two insanely skillful East Coast southpaws, both with perfect records, both in their 20s, clearly on a collision course to determine who’s the Leonard and who’s merely the Hearns.

I can be patient. I can wait for it to get bigger. But if you’re asking me who, in a perfect world, I’d like to see Tank Davis face this fall, it’s Stevenson all the way.

So that’s my top five — and you’ll notice one particular big name absent.

That name belongs to the guy against whom Davis sold a reported 1.2 million pay-per-views last April, the guy who was on the ring apron after the fight congratulating him, looking like a middleweight (at least) in his “Tank’s No. 1 Fan” T-shirt that insisted “Rematch me bitch!” on the back.

Would Ryan Garcia against Davis a second time sell huge? Absolutely.

But I have less than zero interest in it.

Garcia tested positive for PEDs when he put a possibly career-altering or even life-altering beating on Devin Haney and, not only may he be without a license for a while, but he doesn’t deserve the reward of a Tank rematch for that. But more importantly, he needs to get his life in order. His behavior has remained, to use the most euphemistic possible term, erratic since the Haney fight, peaking (so far) with his arrest last week at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills for alleged vandalism to the hotel.

His lawyer connected the incident to Garcia’s mental health. From the outside, that looks like a correct connection to make. But you can’t try to attribute alleged criminal behavior to mental health struggles, and then put Garcia’s boxing career first and try to cash a massive check against Tank.

Not to mention, Davis knocked him out plain and simple the first time, and Garcia says he’s can’t get back down to 140, never mind Tank’s limit of 135.

The star power of both fighters, their fan bases, and, sadly, the recently added freak-show element, make this a ludicrously marketable option for Davis. But from a sporting perspective and a human perspective, it should not be happening — not this year, maybe not ever.

The people tasked with looking out for Garcia have more important business to attend to than securing him a fight. And the people tasked with looking out for Davis have far too many other outstanding opponent options to possibly justify pursuing this rematch.

If Garcia is indeed “Tank’s No. 1 fan,” he should continue buying tickets to Davis’ upcoming fights, just like he did for last weekend’s show at the MGM Grand.

Eric Raskin is a veteran boxing journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering the sport for such outlets as BoxingScene, ESPN, Grantland, Playboy, Ringside Seat, and The Ring (where he served as managing editor for seven years). He also co-hosted The HBO Boxing Podcast, Showtime Boxing with Raskin & Mulvaney, and Ring Theory and currently co-hosts The Interim Champion Boxing Podcast with Raskin & Mulvaney. He has won three first-place writing awards from the BWAA, for his work with The Ring, Grantland, and HBO. Outside boxing, he is the senior editor of CasinoReports and the author of 2014’s The Moneymaker Effect. He can be reached on X or LinkedIn, or via email at