Could Gervonta Davis Become Boxing’s Ultimate ‘What Could Have Been?’ Story

Tom Dunstan

It really has been a tale of the two halves in 2017 for Floyd Mayweather’s new protege. After becoming the new IBF super featherweight world champion at the age of 22, Gervonta Davis announced himself on the world stage as American boxing’s new superstar.

Like all young stars who are thrust into the limelight, it quickly shows the mental strength of the still-blossoming athlete. While some will thrive under the bright lights and the newfound media scrutiny, other’s will slowly fade away into relative obscurity and they produce some of sports most memorable ‘what could have been?’ stories.

In January, Davis put on the performance of his career in only his 17th professional fight. ‘Tank’ brutally knocked out Jose Pedraza on the undercard of James DeGale vs Badu Jack at the Barclay’s Centre. Since being crowned as the new prince of the super featherweight’s, Davis performances both inside and outside the ring have caught the public’s attention for all the wrong reasons.

Last week it was reported in America that the now former IBF champion would be standing trial on an alleged assault charge in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Even more worryingly for Floyd Mayweather, the charge of second-degree assault carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/ or a $2,500 fine.

Although the money aspect will undoubtedly mean next to nothing for the money man, Davis’ upcoming trial carries on a worrying precedent that the youngster has set over the second half of 2017. To add to the problems, In August, Davis was dramatically stripped of his IBF super featherweight world title after failing to make the 130Ibs limit before his scheduled title defence against Francisco Fonseca. This, however, wasn’t the first time Davis had been in trouble for failing to make the weight this year, in his first title defence against Britan’s Liam Walsh in May, ‘Tank’ failed to make the weight on two separate occasions.

On the scales 24 hours before the fight Davis weighed in at 132Ibs and saw his IBF crown snatched away and sadly for him, the drama didn’t end there. With the fight still taking place although Davis would be ineligible to win back his title, the American prospect put on a bizarre performance that led to his hometown supports booing him out of the arena.

After spending the first seven rounds showboating around the ring in his fluffy blue trunks, both boxing pundits at ringside and fans sat at home started to question the temperament of Davis. The bizarre performance was topped off in the eighth round, catching Fonseca with a shot to the back of the head, Davis would then hit his opponent once against while the Costa Rican was on the canvas. Drawing an end to the contest, many expected that Davis would be disqualified, instead, the referee awarded the American a very controversial win and Davis luckily remains undefeated.

It also appears that Davis’ current antics have begun to catch the attention of his fellow fighters. Earlier this year, fans Stateside were hoping to see an all domestic clash between Davis and fellow American hopeful Tevin Farmer.

With Farmer now set to face Kenichi Ogawa for the IBF crown that was snatched away from Davis, Farmer feels that his rival has fallen down the pecking order and is already at a point where the 22-year-old is looking to rebuild.

“He gotta win a title, that’s what he gotta do…I wanted to beat his ass and take his belt but he don’t have it anymore. He lost it on the scale, undisciplined, so what he gotta do is, he gotta work his ass back up to the top – like I had to do. And then we can talk.” – Tevlin Farmer

In a year that has consisted off three separate fails to make weight, being stripped of his first world title and now a second-degree court case looming, both Davis and Mayweather will be eager to get back to work come 2018 and carry on building a legacy that could have the potential to rival his masters.

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