Gervonta “Tank’’ Davis ready to roll through 130-pound division

Baltimore native not satisfied with regaining 130-pound title, wants his IBF strap back and then a possible showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko.

Gervonta Davis TKO's Jesus Cuellar (Showtime Sports)

Trainer Kevin Cunningham predicted Gervonta Davis would “obliterate” former champion Jesus Cuellar to regain a 130-pound title. And the 23-year-old Davis did just that Saturday night—stopping Cuellar in less than three brutally efficient rounds at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“Tank” Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) floored Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) once in the second with a piercing straight left to the ribs, and again in the third round from a left shot to the abdomen, and for the final time by ending a four-punch combination with a left uppercut to the chin followed by a right to the temple.

Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. waved off the contest at the 2:45 mark, and Davis immediately demanded a title unification. 

“I definitely want the winner out of Tevin Farmer and Billy Dib,” said Davis, the newly-crowned WBA titleholder. “I wanna regain the IBF title I started with. I want my belt back, and I’m ready to unify more after that.”

Davis’ promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr., has longer-range goals of matching him against Vasyl Lomachenko, who will pursue his third crown in as many divisions against 135-pound champion Jorge Linares on May 12.

“I’ll fight Lomachenko,” Davis said. “If they’re ready to put us on pay per view and to do good numbers, then, let’s do it.”

A focused Tank is a dangerous Tank and can be the best in the division. I won my first belt last year with 16 fights, but I’m still up and coming, paying my dues, and letting my team guide me in the right direction. 130-pound World Champion Gervonta Davis

Davis returned to Barclays Center where—in January 2017, at just 22—he became the youngest reigning champion with a seventh-round knockout of  IBF titleholder Jose Pedraza

Davis then traveled to London for his initial defense last May, when he dropped and stopped southpaw Liam Walsh in the third round in front of Walsh’s hometown fans. 

But Davis lost his crown on the scales before his second defense in August, an eighth-round knockout victory over Francisco Fonseca on the Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard. 

Davis switched trainers to Cunningham from career-long corner man Calvin Ford, who served as an assistant. 

“Gervonta displayed everything I thought he would: Speed, skill, talent, one-punch knockout power, and the mentality of a finisher,” Cunningham said. “And once he smells blood, he’s trying to get you outta there, which is what the fans wanna see. He is the next and much more.”

A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the 31-year-old Cuellar ended a 16-month ring absence in search of his second world title in his 130-pound debut against Davis, last being in action in December 2016 when he was dropped in the 11th round and dethroned as 126-pound title-holder following a split-decision loss to three-division champion Abner Mares.

Cuellar won an interim crown by unanimous decision over Claudio Marrero in August 2013, his five defenses including three straight knockouts and stoppages of former world champions Juan Manuel Lopez and Vic Darchinyan.

“A focused Tank is a dangerous Tank and can be the best in the division,” Davis said. “I won my first belt last year with 16 fights, but I’m still up and coming, paying my dues, and letting my team guide me in the right direction.”

For a closer look at Davis vs Cuellar, check out our fight page.

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