Who's next for Gervonta Davis at 130-pounds?
By Hector Franco
January 19, 2016
Last Saturday boxing fans were witness to the rise of a new potential star in the sport. Gervonta “Tank” Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) lived up to his name and steamrolled over Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) to win the IBF 130-pound championship.
Davis is only 22 years old and is in the middle of one boxing’s deepest divisions. The number one fighter in the division is two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs). Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather has already stated that he will not rush Davis into a fight with the Ukranian boxing master. Nevertheless, there are still many fights at 130-pounds that would be exciting and challenging for the young Baltimore native.
130 features fighters like Francisco Vargas, Orlando Salido, and Takashi Miura. These would be exciting fights that would test Davis, but even with the thawing of the promotional cold war, these matches are unlikely to take place. The good news is that on the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) side of the promotional landscape there are plenty of fights for Davis that can raise his stature in the sport. These are fighters who will challenge Davis and gain him vast experience. Let’s take a look at some of these fighters.
Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) and Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs)
New Jersey native Jason Sosa is the current WBA “regular” champion at 130-pounds. The ‘super’ champion Jezreel Corrales defeated longtime reigning 130-pound kingpin Takashi Uchiyama twice last year. Corrales is rumored to be next in line to face Vasyl Lomachenko leaving him as an unlikely candidate to face Davis. Sosa was put into the boxing consciousness over his last three fights.
In December 2015 he got a draw against Jamaica’s Nicholas Walters in a fight that many felt Walters should have got the decision. In 2016, Sosa traveled outside the United States to gain notoriety. He started off in China where he upset the then undefeated Javier Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) via stoppage in the 12th round. He followed this with a unanimous decision victory in Monte Carlo against Stephen Smith (24-3, 14 KOs).
Sosa with his experience against fighters of different styles may be able to give Davis a tough challenge. The added incentive would be that the fight would be a unification title bout bringing Davis a step closer to being considered the best in the division.
A fight with Fortuna for Davis would still be worth watching, as the Dominican is a pure boxer that can trouble most opponents. After the loss to Sosa, Fortuna bounced back with two victories over Marlyn Cabrera and Omar Douglas. The Omar Douglas fight was one of the more exciting fights of 2016 producing some significant action packed rounds. Either Sosa or Fortuna would be a great opponent for Davis to face next.
Tevin Farmer (24-4-1, 5 KOs)
The dark horse in the 130-pound division is Tevin Farmer. His record can be deceiving as he is one of the most skilled fighters in the division. Farmer, had a draw and two losses in his first seven fights including a loss in his pro debut. His last loss came to Jose Pedraza in 2012, and he hasn’t loss since. In 2016, the Philadelphia native fought a total of four times including an impressive victory over Ivan Redkach (19-2-1, 15 KOs).
Against Redkach, Farmer showed a variety of skills from counter punching to fighting on the inside. Afer Davis’ performance against Pedraza, it may have made many fighters second-guess stepping in the ring with him. Farmer, won’t be one of those fighters.
Davis may also have to face his IBF mandatory Liam Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) next if other fights cannot be made. Walsh is from the United Kingdom and last defeated Andrey Klimov last October. With Walsh being unknown to most U.S. boxing fans, Davis would be a heavy favorite.
Davis now has the attention of the boxing world and should take advantage of this by staying active in 2016. Hopefully, whatever promotional issues he has with his promoter, Floyd Mayweather can be resolved. It should not interfere with his activity as a fighter. The ball is now in Davis’ court; let's see what he does next.
(Featured Photo: David Nadkarni/PBC)