Fight Preview

TOPCLASS PREVIEW | GERVONTA DAVIS VS. LIAM WALSH

Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 22-year-old Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, has had a rapid rise up the super featherweight ranks. The southpaw has a perfect record of 17-0, with 16 wins by KO. Now under the guidance of Floyd Mayweather and part of TMT, a big future is expected for the fledgeling star.

On Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, London, the young protege will be making the first defence of his IBF World super featherweight title. The man in the opposing corner will be Cromer’s Liam Walsh, 31, the former British, Commonwealth & WBO European super featherweight champion. Walsh has been a professional since 2008, and never tasted defeat in compiling a 21-0, 14 KOs record.

Over the storied history of boxing, we have witnessed American World champions come to the UK and leave with their title; Mickey Walker (vs Tommy Milligan, 1927), Ike Williams (vs Ronnie James, 1946), Donald Curry (vs Colin Jones, 1985), Tim Witherspoon (vs Frank Bruno, 1986), Mike McCallum (vs Michael Watson, 1990), John David Jackson (vs Chris Pyatt, 1990), Leeonzer Barber (vs Nicky Piper, 1994), Frank Tate (vs Tony Sibson, 1998), Zab Judah (vs Junior Witter, 2000). Muhammad Ali and Ronald ‘Winky’ Wright made several successful defences on British soil.

Others have come to these shores and lost their belts: Sugar Ray Robinson (vs Randolph Turpin, 1951), Gaby Canizales (vs Duke McKenzie, 1991), Jesse Benavides (vs Duke McKenzie, 1992) Oliver McCall (vs Frank Bruno, 1995), Jeff Lacy (vs Joe Calzaghe, 2006), and, more recently, Charles Martin (vs Anthony Joshua, 2016).

Southpaw Walsh is part of a fighting family, with brothers Michael and Ryan both doing well in the paid ranks. The Englishman has a fanatical following known as the ‘Farmy Army’ and will enjoy loud support on the night but can he turn his nickname ‘Destiny’ into reality? Well, he has plenty of experience and has completed the full distance on four occasions, he can mix-it-up as well as box. He will be facing a champion, who has fast, powerful hands but has never been past nine rounds. You would expect Walsh to box with caution and look to come on strong later on. Try to frustrate his younger foe along the way, while counterpunching.

Gervonta Davis looked good when stepping up in class against Puerto Rican Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza. That night in Brooklyn, New York, saw the youngster defeat a solid world champion and impressively stop him in the seventh round. ‘Tank’ handled the occasion and the opponent. Up until that fight, Davis had looked good smashing up lesser opponents but in Brooklyn, he showed substance to go with style. Coming into this fight, he will have to cope with a hostile atmosphere and there is a possibility that he is over confident. If he performs like he did in his last fight, along with the experience that victory gave him, then I expect him to do a similar job on the home fighter. It’s good to see a young World champion take the belt overseas and test himself.

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