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Boxing media review: The deplorable behaviour of Gervonta Davis

Gervonta Davis
Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
The actions of Gervonta Davis should seriously hurt his profile in the sport, writes George Gigney as he rounds up the boxing media week

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AFTER disturbing footage appeared on social media, Gervonta Davis surrendered himself to police in Florida and has been charged with simple battery domestic violence. The video shows Davis yanking a woman by her throat and forcibly leading her out of the arena they were in during a charity basketball game. The incident left the woman, who has not been identified but is believed to be an ex-girlfriend of Davis, with injuries to her lip and jaw, according to an arrest report obtained by the Miami Herald.

Davis later posted on his Instagram: “I never once hit her. Yea I was aggressive and told her come on… That’s the mother of my child. I would never hurt her,” before deleting all of his posts.

A spokesperson for PBC declined to comment to ESPN, stating “It looks like a legal matter.”

Davis’ actions were abhorrent and he deserves stern punishment. His defence that he “never once hit her” is pathetic and conveys that Gervonta is still not aware of the severity of his actions. PBC’s response is cowardly – it might well be a legal matter, but there is no dispute over what is shown in the video, and they should respond accordingly.

In stark contrast to that news was a piece in The Washington Post about Gary Russell Jnr. There’s a little exploration into why Russell Jnr only fights once a year – he puts it down to boxing politics, which is a factor but certainly not the whole story – but the article also explains that, for Gary, boxing isn’t everything and he plans to move into philanthropy after retirement in order to help those struggling in Washington, where he grew up.

Michael Conlan is also working to help those in need. Speaking to Yahoo Sports, the Belfast native explained how he is working with other Northern Irish celebrities to pressure the government into doing more to reduce the suicide rate there, which is the highest in the UK. Conlan has also been auctioning off his fight gear to raise funds to help people who need it. His and Russell Jnr’s efforts aren’t as widely reported on as other news – and that’s a real shame – but their actions prove just how important boxers can be outside of the ropes.

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The promotion for Deontay Wilder’s February 22 rematch with Tyson Fury has kicked into another gear with both men taking part in a plethora of interviews for a variety of different media outlets, large and small.

Inevitably, this led to a lot of the same questions being asked, and so we haven’t got much actual news from these various discussions – something Fury highlighted in his hour-long sit down with Behind The Gloves. While there might not be many grabby headlines sprouting from these interviews, they have offered us deeper insight into Fury and Wilder as people, rather than fighters.

Fury, who for so long has cast himself purely as an entertainer, certainly seems a lot more introspective and serious in this training camp. Whether that’s fatigue from hard training or something else, we don’t know, but he did discuss the trappings of fame with Behind The Gloves and how much he’s grown to dislike them.

“I just want to be normal,” he said, while explaining that he’d just like to be able to live a quieter life with his family. Tyson’s moods have been known to change with the wind, but there’s a world-weariness to him in recent interviews that suggests he is growing tired of the glare of the spotlight.

Fury also welcomed Gareth A Davies to his Las Vegas residence for a pair of filmed interviews, which were admittedly more upbeat. Davies is a good interviewer and has a strong rapport with Fury, so the ‘Gypsy King’ is more switched on here.

That being said, it begs the question of just how much time Fury is allowing for all these interviews.

Wilder, meanwhile, had a frank discussion with BT Sport about his life and career. What stood out is his admission that, earlier in his life, before he’d become a successful fighter and was struggling to make ends meet while caring for his daughter, who suffers from Spina Bifida, he held a gun in his lap and contemplated suicide. That’s an astonishing revelation for someone of Wilder’s stature to make, and I respect him even more for it. It also continues a trend of fighters being more honest about their mental health, which is a great thing.

Deontay Wilder
Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

BT dropped an extended fight breakdown for Wilder-Fury 2 in which David Haye and Fury’s former trainer Ben Davison gave their expert views, all of which are of value. Davison in particular provided some fascinating insight, including one of Fury’s tells in the ring – when he wipes and dabs at his nose and face with his glove.

British light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde – last seen losing valiantly to Sergey Kovalev in Russia – got himself back into the win column on a small hall show in Spain. Footage of his second-round shellacking of Colombian journeyman Diego Jair Ramirez emerged online. Obviously there’s nothing to glean from the fight itself, but the result means Yarde is coming off a win and can now contest the WBO title – currently vacant – should the opportunity arise.

Speaking to Fight Hub TV, Bob Arum threw his weight behind the WBC’s ‘franchise’ championships, claiming that with fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Vasyl Lomachenko (who Arum promotes) holding them, they have legitimacy. That is nonsense, and it’s sad that Arum won’t use his platform and influence to slam the WBC’s latest farce and help prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.

Broadcasts

There’s not much to note from Sky Sports’ card from Sheffield, topped by Kell Brook. The bill was OK, if undramatic, though the shots of Terri Harper’s partner’s delight when she was crowned world champion were heart-warming.

What was more interesting was the fact BoxNation launched its new deal with Premier Sports by airing Russell Jnr’s title win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar. It’s no secret that BoxNation’s schedule was almost entirely wiped out when Frank Warren teamed up with BT Sport, but this new deal with Premier Sports suggests the channel isn’t dead yet. In fact, with several overseas cards slipping through the cracks of Sky and BT in recent months, BoxNation could carve themselves out a valuable corner in the market.

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