Just like that, boxing had its new star. One shot was all it took for Gervonta Davis to become an instant sensation.
A well-drilled and perfectly-timed left uppercut landed flush on the chin of Leo Santa Cruz, sending him flailing into the corner of the Alamodome ring in Texas and subsequently seeing ‘Tank’ prevail on his pay-per-view main event debut.
Huge opportunities to enhance career reputation in front of a mass audience can be rare, with such spectacles filled with immense pressure and expectations when they do arrive. But the Baltimore fighter seized his chance emphatically; overseeing his stock rocket.
Of course, overnight sensations aren’t made overnight. It’s taken Davis a lifetime of hard work and dedication to his craft, alongside his driven team, to reach this pinnacle stage of his professional career.
His devastating Knockout of the Year frontrunner over Santa Cruz may prove to be the most decisive single moment of his career but it was weeks, months and years in the making.
The world is at his feet now, with no shortage of potential fight options across multiple divisions. So, what’s next for Gervonta Davis after his stunning Showtime success?
Boxing is currently enjoying a surge in young talent coming through the ranks. Lightweight is perhaps the most prominent right now, in light of Davis’ eye-catching display on American soil.
‘Tank’ now reigns across two weight classes following his most-recent stoppage victory. Defending his WBA lightweight title, he also dethroned Santa Cruz of his super-featherweight strap from the same organisation.
Plenty of high-profile names lie across the 130lbs and 135lbs divisions for Davis, some of which would make for even more prosperous PPV match-ups.
Fresh off the back of his historic win over Vasyl Lomachenko, fellow lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez would be a mammoth fight for ‘Tank’. Two newly-promoted pound-for-pound names, rising US-based attractions and very talented technicians who possess power in both hands. It’s a future super-fight.
'What's next for Gervonta Davis?'
Lomachenko is an option too. A loss at the hands of Lopez doesn’t diminish his standing in the sport. Whether it’s before or after a Lopez rematch, a meeting with Davis would make for an interesting clash of southpaw styles.
More realistically, an all-American encounter with Gary Russell Jr. could come to fruition. At 32 years old, he’s held the WBC featherweight title since 2015 and was swift in calling out ‘Tank’ immediately after his PPV headline debut.
With the Baltimore-D.C. rivalry adding to the build-up, it’s a fight that looks more than capable of being made early in 2021.
Devin Haney currently holds the WBC lightweight belt and represents another intriguing bout for ‘Tank’. In the same manner, Ryan Garcia is another who has quickly shot to stardom in recent times.
Despite not possessing a world title yet, he’s gained a sizeable following so far and caught the eye with highlight reel knockouts of his own. If Garcia can get past Luke Campbell, a Davis fight could lie on the horizon.
Down the line these are potential blockbusters between fresh stars of the sport, with ‘Tank’ now leading the way in a new era.
Any doubts raised in the build-up were quickly put to rest, with ‘Tank’ taking it all in his stride and dealing with the naysayers impressively. As champions do.
Starting by comfortably making weight and ending in a globally-viewed KO, Davis captured the boxing world’s attention in style to move to 24-0 in an event that more than lived up to expectations.
Promoter and retired five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. was in no rush to comment on the future for the sport’s latest superstar, telling ‘Tank’ to enjoy his family time in light of an enormous feat. A deserved rest from battle, before getting back to work for the next pursuit of greatness.
Mayweather Jr. named his protege as the ‘top dog’ in boxing today. A young, rising pound-for-pound and PPV star. ‘Tank’s’ on top now.