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14 NOVEMBER 2018

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Gervonta Davis Becomes Two Time Champ In Brooklyn

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pic Tom Casino4

By Jason Pribila: Promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. raised eyebrows on April 7 when he said he reached out to Top Rank about matching his fighter Gervonta Davis with top pound for pound fighter Vasyl Lomachenko later this year. Many felt Mayweather was either ready to cash out on Davis, or he was pleased with what he knew of Davis’ preparation for his title fight with Jesus Cuellar that took place Saturday Night in Brooklyn, New York.


Davis faced adversity before and during his last fight on August 26, where he was given the precious assignment of fighting in support of Mayweather – Conor McGregor. Davis (20-0, 18 KO) lost his 130 lb. title on the scale, and then lost some members of his bandwagon when he struggled before stopping Francisco Fonseca.


Many felt Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) would need to be focused to get his arm raised as he entered the ring with the normally durable Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs), who himself was coming off a career-long layoff. Cuellar was rolling thru the featherweight division before he was out-boxed by Abner Mares in December of 2018.


Davis-Cuellar would be determined by how well Davis would be able to handle and counter Cuellar’s pressure. Cuellar came out as the aggressor working behind his jab. Without throwing back, it was immediately clear Davis would have an advantage in speed. Cuellar seemed to either be trying to knock off rust with each punch, or he appeared to have been swimming earlier in the day.


Davis, a southpaw, was able to land lead rights to Cuellar’s head, and he hurt his foe each time he landed to his body. Davis punctuated a dominant opening frame when a clean body shot stopped Cuellar in his tracks, and forced him to end the round fighting on his heels.


Davis scored his first knockdown with a straight left to Cuellar’s midsection at the 1:50 mark of round 2. Cuellar was able to beat referee Benji Esteves’ count, and for a moment gave fans at the Barclays Center hope that he would be able to turn the fight into a slugfest as the second round came to an end.


Davis continued to dominate in the third frame as he landed a left to the liver that dropped Cuellar for the second time. Cuellar rose and charged forward, but he was only able to land an accidental head-butt that momentarily stunned Davis. The 23-year old quickly shook off the pain, and he fired a combination that forced Cuellar to crumble to the canvas at 2:45. Esteves didn’t bother counting this time, and he waved off the one-sided beat down.


Davis closed the show by landing 26 punches, 14 of which were power punches. He left little doubt that he learned a lesson after getting booed in Las Vegas eight months ago.


"On the undercard of Mayweather-McGregor fight, I just wasn’t focused," Davis said. "It was the second time fighting on his card so it got to my head and it showed. After the fight, I went home and talked to my team and we decided it was time to leave Baltimore. I’m focused and it showed because I’m a champ again."


Showtime announcer, Jim Gray left Davis off the hook when he said a Lomachenko fight would be difficult to make due to boxing politics, so he floated Davis a lay-up by asking if he would like to face the winner of the Tevin Farmer – Billy Dib title fight.


Davis smiled, and emphatically agreed that the Farmer-Dib winner would be the fight he would like to pursue.


Davis has clearly learned a lot over the last eight months.


Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at or followed on @PribsBoxing

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