When Gervonta Davis burst onto the global scene and parted Jose Pedraza from his IBF world super featherweight title back in January, the commentators and pundits were lavish with the praise and plaudits over the exploits of the Baltimore banger.
Terms such as ‘a star is born’ and ‘the future of boxing’ were bandied about but, as far as I’m concerned, his future in the company of that IBF belt will be a short-lived one.
I do agree that Davis looks a great talent and could end up being a little bit special, but he is now going to be tested like never before.
On May 20, ‘Tank’ Davis travels to London’s Copper Box Arena for a mandatory defence of his title against our own Liam Walsh and I am anticipating an absolutely epic encounter.
I imagine Liam is already being written off in some quarters and that is because people simply don’t realise how good he is. To my mind, he has been a world champion in waiting for some years now, but unfortunately he has been struck by misfortune on a number of occasions.
He is now in full working order and, I believe, the time is right for him to show the world what he is all about.
For me, Liam ticks all the boxes. Whatever is required for him to win a fight, he can do. He possesses incredible skills and can bang, while he also hugely courageous and can mix it with the best of them.
Devising a gameplan to capitalise and any weak points is pretty much a futile exercise because there really can’t be that much to work on.
Liam is something of a perfectionist and he won his shot at the title via a final eliminator against the Russian Andrey Klimov in October.
Klimov is known to be a tough customer – who was coming off a points defeat to the then champion Pedraza – so Liam opted to box clever and proceeded to completely bamboozle his opponent with his shot selection and footwork.
It was boxing artistry and Klimov barely laid a glove on him.
However, in his post-fight interview afterwards, Liam was almost crestfallen despite his shut-out victory on two of the cards.
Even though he carried out his assignment to near perfection, Liam was down on himself because he didn’t feel he had delivered entertainment value for the fans.
Let me tell you though, if he had let his hands go and then taken one on the chin from Klimov, he would’ve then got it in the neck from his tight knit corner team of brothers Liam and Michael, plus his underrated trainer Graham Everett.
The fight was won and the big prize was in sight, so they were right to rein him in.
Liam was naturally disappointed when the IBF sanctioned Davis to jump the queue and face Pedraza, but now he couldn’t be happier.
He gets to take on one of the biggest noises in American boxing on home territory and I make him right in what he suggested at the press conference on Tuesday at London’s Savoy Hotel.
He said this is a fight that can’t fail to deliver and I am delighted our negotiations with Floyd Mayweather’s team resulted in us being able to showcase it to the fans over here.
The Money team are supremely confident of returning home with the spoils, but I recall similar bravado being displayed by the team of Jeff Lacy, when the then unbeaten super middleweight rocked up in Manchester for a unification match against Joe Calzaghe in March 2006.
I admire Davis for having the bottle to put it on the line in what will be a packed and hostile environment but I strongly suspect, like Lacy, he will be returning home empty handed.