Fireworks are expected when two undefeated hard-hitters square off as five-time world champion Gervonta "Tank" Davis puts his WBA World Lightweight Title on the line against top contender Rolando "Rolly" Romero Saturday night on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
This Saturday, May 28, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, atop a Premier Boxing Champions event, five-time world champ Gervonta “Tank” Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) takes on hard-throwing, number-one contender Rolando “Rolly” Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) in a lightweight world title clash.
The SHOWTIME pay-per-view telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) also features two-division world champion Erislandy Lara defending his WBA Middleweight Title against Irish battler Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in the co-main event.
Also on the card, undefeated rising star Jesús “Mono” Ramos takes on the always-tough Luke Santamaría in a 10-round super welterweight showdown. In the pay-per-view opener, hard-hitting contender Eduardo Ramírez faces Puerto Rico’s Luis Meléndez in a 10-round super featherweight war.
Davis is returning to Barclays Center, where he won his first world title in 2017 on the James DeGale-Badou Jack undercard. Now firmly established as a headliner and one of the biggest attractions in the sport, he’s coming back to Brooklyn in a true bad-blood grudge match.
The 27-year-old Davis has spent the last several years building his star and fortifying his resume. Now a five-time, three-division world champ headlining his fourth straight pay-per-view, the Baltimore native has made his mark as not only a pound-for-pound talent, but also one of boxing’s top draws.
In 2021, he scored a unanimous decision victory over hard-charging Mexican warrior Isaac Cruz in a December defense of his lightweight title and, before that, stopped junior welterweight titlist Mario Barrios in the eleventh round.
Now set to fight the WBA’s no. 1 contender and mandatory challenger, he looks to dominate and move on to even bigger things.
“Rolly” Romero was supposed to have the Isaac Cruz slot in December. Sexual assault allegations, however, saw that opportunity of a lifetime pulled from his grasp when he was removed from that pay-per-view main event.
Five months later, with no charges filed, the 26-year-old Las Vegas native is back and confident in his ability to take full advantage of this high-profile shot.
Romero started boxing at 16 and, despite the late start in the sport, was discovered and eventually signed by Floyd Mayweather after some brutally dominant sparring performances at the Mayweather Boxing Club.
The hard-swinging lightweight captured the interim WBA lightweight title via close unanimous decision over Jackson Marinez in 2020 and is 2-0 with two knockouts since then.
At stake is Davis’ WBA lightweight world title. Davis is also looking to affirm his spot atop the deep and lucrative 135-pound division while Romero wants to make his case for entry into the elite class.
Blessed with speed, high-end reflexes, and heavy hands, the just-over five-foot-five Gervonta Davis’ ability to generate concussive power from his low center of gravity makes him one of the most all-around explosive fighters in the sport today.
Aside from his physical tools, the southpaw has an often overlooked degree of savvy when it comes to using angles and complex ring strategies.
On defense, Davis uses his speed and reflexes, as well as his small stature, to avoid shots and roll underneath punches. The threat of heavy-handed counters also keeps opposition tentative.
“ I hit him with one of these and I’m going to knock his whole nose off. ” Undefeated WBA World Lightweight World Champion - Gervonta "Tank" Davis
Romero fights like he talks—with bluster, blister, and supreme confidence. Sporting an angry, tense ring demeanor, Showtime commentator Mauro Ranallo once observed that he looked like “a walking clenched fist.”
Naturally heavy-handed, he comes forward, looking to do damage with every bit of contact made. Once burdened with numerous technical flaws, he’s fine-tuned his skill set in recent performances and has done a better job of varying his punches and using the jab to set up his power shots. His biggest weapons remain a clubbing right hand and an awkward lead left hook.
Defensively, Romero still has exploitable weaknesses. He keeps his chin up and head high in exchanges, making him vulnerable to taking flush counters. He also has a tendency to lunge with his jabs.
“We know what we’re coming here to do on May 28. He’s just worrying about power, he’s not working on anything else. Their only plan is to knock me out. I hit him with one of these and I’m going to knock his whole nose off. They just keep talking about knockouts and trying to get me out of there early, because they know he can’t last down the line.”
“This is going to be the easiest fight of my career...Gervonta keeps talking about these skills he has, but I just see his face getting swollen up after every fight he has. He just bullies smaller opponents. He’s not that special. We’re ending his little reign and he can go retire. Gervonta Davis is ending up on the canvas knocked out. That’s what I can guarantee.”
There’s no doubt that Gervonta Davis has the more refined skill set and deeper resume of the two. On paper, that gives the defending champ a significant edge coming into this bout.
Power, however, can be a great equalizer in any fight and Romero has the pop to hurt anyone he catches.
The difficulty Davis had with an awkward, free-swinging, come-forward Isaac Cruz suggests that Romero, who is as aggressive and stylistically off-putting as the Mexican, but also bigger and heavier-handed, might have a legit shot in boxing’s theater of the unexpected. Davis says that he was hampered in the Cruz fight by a hand injury, though. So, it remains to be seen whether his troubles were injury-based or style-based.
Look for Davis to work angles against a Romero whose aggression sometimes pulls him off balance and makes him vulnerable to counters. Romero will do what he does, trying to clip Davis with something heavy and pounce on his opportunity. Given the styles, mindsets, and abilities of the two fighters—who’ve yet to even suffer a knockdown in their pro careers-- a knockout is pretty much the only possible result of this contest.
Davis vs. Romero is going to be a good, high-impact grudge match with a guaranteed “big bang” ending.
For a closer look at Davis vs Romero, check out our fight night page.
- Davis vs Romero