LOS ANGELES – Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and hard-hitting, unbeaten lightweight contender Rolando “Rolly” Romero went face-to-face Thursday at a press conference to preview their showdown for Davis’ WBA Lightweight Championship headlining live on SHOWTIME PPV Sunday, December 5 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Davis’ third-straight pay-per-view headlining attraction will see him battle his outspoken lightweight foe Romero, as the 26-year-old power-punchers put their unbeaten records on the line. The event will mark Davis’ return to Southern California after he knocked out Hugo Ruiz in the first round in front of a sold-out crowd in February 2019.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from City View Terrace at STAPLES Center:
“I’m thankful to be here to give the fans another great fight. This is what we do. ‘Rolly’ is just here to talk. He’s trying to talk his way into winning, but he’s scared. I’m coming to fight.
“They only talk about his power, but this is boxing. His skills are not up to par with mine. He can’t even talk about power, because everyone knows I’m bringing it. You can shoot bullets, but how are you going to defend yourself when the bullets are shot back?
“He’s been talking for a long time. He’s trying to sell a fight, but I’m going to show him that he’s a chump on December 5. I’m not here to talk, I’m here to fight. I don’t take this personally. To me, this isn’t beef, this is business.
“I was on a mission when I fought Jose Pedraza for the title. I didn’t do the trash talking. I went in there and proved that I’m a top guy. This guy is just here to talk. I’m going to do the talking in the ring on December 5.
“His trainer isn’t working on anything but power. They aren’t working on any skills. He hasn’t fought anybody like me and he’s going to see the difference.
“I’ve never once turned down any fight. I’m not scared of anybody. I’m going to fight everybody. I’ll fight a heavyweight. This is nothing to me. I’ve survived a lot of stuff.
“He’s supposed to come here and sell the fight. I’m supposed to win. I’d rather punish him for 12 rounds than knock him out quick. Part of me wants to humble him, but the most important thing to do is just go out there and get the job done.
“This fight is for the fans. The fans are winning December 5. Make sure you come out and support. I’m thankful to be in this position. It’s all about my team and those people who have put me in a great position.”
“Everyone’s going to see December 5, I’m going to knock Gervonta the f*** out. I hope you hear that.
“I’ve been calling ‘Tank’ out since 2017. We were supposed to spar in 2018 and he didn’t show up to the gym. He did that twice because he knew he was getting beat. December 5, you’re getting knocked out.
“This is just who I am. This is how I was born. I came into this sport at 17-years-old and I’ve made the most out of what I’ve done. Everybody come watch me knock him out on December 5.
“He’s got such a big head, it’s going to be hard to miss it. He gets touched up by every opponent he faces. Leo Santa Cruz was beating him up and Barrios was getting to him too.
“He wants to run out of the ring whenever he gets hit. It happens in sparring and in the amateurs. I was the one who had to force this fight, because I’ve seen for years that he’s a chump. He’s made a career out of beating up 126-pounders.
“He doesn’t know half the stuff that I’ve seen and been through. I’m here to knock him out in the ring. He’s arrogant and tries to act like he’s tough, but I’m knocking him out.
“Manny Pacquiao has an awkward style too, and look at everything he’s accomplished. Just because I fight differently, does that mean I don’t have skills? I have my own skills and they’ve gotten me this far.
“I’m not going into the ring angry, I’m just focused.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions
“These are two great fighters. And when I say great, I mean that every time they go out there, they produce. ‘Tank’ is a young kid from Baltimore who had a dream. He’s been through a lot. He fought his way to the top. You have to commend him for that. No matter what anyone says, he earned his stripes.
“I believe ‘Tank’ is one of the best fighters in the world. ‘Rolly’ says he wants to fight the best. Come December 5, it’s going to be a hell of a fight.
“’Rolly’ is tough. He’ll fight anybody and that eagerness makes this an intriguing matchup. ‘Rolly’ just wants to prove he’s the best. He’s also a hell of a puncher. Every time we presented an opponent to him, he’s accepted every one of them.
“’Tank’ is doing record-breaking numbers. I always told him it would come in due time. I told him that the same way I sell out arenas, you’re going to do the same thing one day. He had patience and that’s what we’re doing.
“These guys are the future of boxing. I don’t see this fight going the distance. Two undefeated knockout artists. Two champions. December 5, I’ll see everyone there.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Co-Trainer
“I hope you keep up this talking ‘Rolly.’ We’ll see who’s still going to be talking at the end of the night on December 5.
“Romero has an awkward style, but the beauty of having two coaches with ‘Tank,’ is that there’s nothing we aren’t ready for.
“Having Barry Hunter be a part of the camp has helped calm ‘Tank’ down in many ways. I think everyone will see the beauty of us working together in this fight.
“I don’t train ‘Tank’ for knockouts. I train him to go the distance. He can get you from round 1 to 12. So you better stay sharp.”
BARRY HUNTER, Davis’ Co-Trainer
“Everyone knows what we’re coming to do. I have mad respect for the other side. Bring your A-game, because we’re definitely going to bring ours.
“We’re born for stuff like this right here. Like everyone said, there’s no way this fight goes the distance.
“Everybody is working hard to be at their best, because we don’t want any excuses after it’s over with. I have faith in Gervonta. I know what he’s going to do.”
BULLET CROMWELL, Romero’s Trainer
“I know what everybody is saying about who the champ is coming into this, but the champ wasn’t born a champ, he had to rise too. Just like a young lion, ‘Rolly’ is ready to rise.
“I’m an L.A. guy. When we come back here, we’re fighting for a legacy. It’s not just a belt and money.
“I told ‘Rolly’ that Gervonta Davis is standing in the way of changing your family and your legacy. We got a job to do.
“I don’t care about pure boxing or any style. I took karate, street-fighting and boxing, and I put it all together. Combined with a puncher with ‘Rolly’s’ power, and with his grind and grit, it’s a perfect match.
“I have a lot of respect for ‘Tank’ and his team. He’s a great fighter, but Rolly is next up. He’s going to be the new WBA champion on December 5.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“We’re excited to bring this huge event to Los Angeles at STAPLES Center on Sunday, December 5. This is a tremendous matchup and the fans should be excited. There’s a lot of buzz already and tickets are going fast.
“These fighters truly despise each other. It’s rare you see that in boxing. In 2019, me and Floyd were at the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia and we were talking and all of a sudden Davis and Romero were ready to go at it at ringside. Floyd told them that they could do it in the ring, and now here we are.
“’Tank’ is without a doubt the most exciting fighter in the world. He’s also one of the biggest attractions and one of the best fighters in the world. ‘Rolly’ has let it be known that he’s been ‘trolling’ ‘Tank’ and I’m sure on December 5, ‘Tank’ will be doing whatever he can to shut ‘Rolly’ up.
“’Rolly’ is a very explosive fighter and anytime he steps into the ring, he’s looking to get his opponent out of there. He never lacks confidence and he’s confident that on December 5 he’s getting the job done.
“With two tremendous power punchers like this, there’s no way this fight doesn’t end in a knockout. Tune in December 5 and expect someone to get knocked out.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President of SHOWTIME Sports
“For SHOWTIME Sports, 2021 has been one of the strongest years on record. We have delivered a total of 42 events, half of which ended in knockouts. On December 5, I expect this won’t go the distance, either, with these two hard hitters.
“Week after week, year after year, SHOWTIME continues to be the standard of this sport. No one in combat sports is putting on better, or more meaningful fights than us.
“As we enter Gervonta’s 11th fight with SHOWTIME, he has never been down, and he has continued to shine. When other fighters are talking, ‘Tank’ is fighting and selling out arenas.
“’Rolly’ has also never been downed as a pro. He is a hard hitter and is one of the best talents in boxing, and he will be the first to tell you.”
Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME®