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Gervonta Davis is at a crossroads

Gervonta Davis
Esther Lin/Showtime
Gervonta Davis has some decisions to make as he reaches crucial juncture of his career, writes George Gigney

GERVONTA DAVIS is undoubtedly developing into one of boxing’s brightest young stars. But he’s now at a crucial crossroads in his career, a point at which he must make a decision that could determine his trajectory over the next few years. After beating “Rolly” Romero at the weekend, Davis’ contract with Mayweather Promotions is now complete. Prior to the fight he had heavily intimated that he would move on from the outfit afterward and sign with a new promoter. He had even begun calling out the likes of Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia, insisting that he would be able to sign fights with them once his deal with Mayweather Promotions was up. It seemed all but confirmed that he was going elsewhere.

However in the days leading up to the Romero fight, Davis made something of a u-turn on comments he had made previously about being frustrated with his promotional team. He said: “I still feel I’ve got the best team in boxing – Mayweather Promotions, Al Haymon [Davis’ advisor], my personal team. Whatever decision we make after this, I’m all for it. We come up with the best plans together as a team.”

Davis has built up a solid CV under Mayweather and has earned plenty of money. On the face of it, there isn’t a huge amount to complain about. But, at lightweight, he finds himself within one of boxing’s most exciting divisions. There are some outstanding fights that can be made.

Even by his own admissions, Davis has been limited in his options while working with Mayweather Promotions. It’s been almost two years since his sensational knockout win over Leo Santa Cruz and he’s not fought anyone as talented or well-known since then.

This isn’t to say Davis will never get a big fight while working with Mayweather Promotions, but the evidence we have so far suggests it would be a surprise were it to happen. The other big names in the 135lb division ply their trade on DAZN and ESPN, broadcasters with whom Mayweather Promotions does not collaborate.

If Davis is happy sticking with Mayweather, then more power to him. Considering his extremely difficult past, he has already made a huge success of himself. But there could be an opportunity to launch himself into true superstardom here.

Gervonta Davis world title

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Speaking of stars, they don’t get much bigger than Canelo Alvarez. And that’s taking into account the fact he’s coming off of a loss to Dmitry Bivol at light-heavyweight. Despite that fight only happening a couple of weeks ago, Canelo has already confirmed his next contest; a trilogy bout with Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17.

First off, that’s almost unheard of in modern boxing. For the sport’s biggest star to come off of one big fight (which he lost) to then immediately announce an even bigger one is something to behold.

Previously considered the best fighter, pound-for-pound, on the planet by almost everyone, Canelo has since been demoted by many in the wake of his loss to Bivol. Some of these shifts have been, frankly, bizarre.

Then again the entire debate around pound-for-pound rankings is a strange one as there’s no unified criteria and it’s ultimately a matter of opinion.

That being said, Canelo was asked for his opinion on these changes by DAZN and he responded that he still feels he is the best fighter on the planet. Most if not all elite fighters view themselves as the best, that sort of psychology is a part of the job, but Canelo still has a strong claim to it.

He said: “I risk everything to keep making history when I don’t need to risk anything. I’ve already achieved so many things. I’m in a position where I don’t have to risk anything, and I still do it, and nobody does that when they are in a position like the one I’m in. So personally, I still feel I’m the best in the world.”

You’d struggle to find an active fighter with a better record than Canelo, however there are fighters in better form. Swings and roundabouts. All the response to Canelo’s loss proves is that opinions in boxing remain very fluid – you really are only as good as your last fight.

That is certainly true of Deontay Wilder, who last fought in a modern classic with Tyson Fury, ultimately getting stopped in the 11th round. Wilder has kept out of the public eye for the most part since then and there were rumblings that he was considering retirement.

However, at the unveiling of a statue created in his honour in Tuscaloosa, Alabama – his hometown – Wilder revealed that he will continue fighting.

“I can’t stop right now. I must continue with my journey,” Wilder told the crowd that came out for the ceremony.

“I love you guys so much. I can’t end it like this. This journey’s not over with. I must continue my journey.”

Despite the result, Wilder would still have been retiring on something of a high if he hung up his gloves now – he proved himself inordinately brave and once again highlighted how dangerous he can be, even when a fight isn’t going his way.

That’s why it’s so exciting to hear he will continue boxing. There are some really fun fights he can be involved in, ones that would not only make him a lot of money but also line him up for another title tilt should he win them.

Lastly, we got confirmation that Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall have signed to fight each other, most likely in September. It’s yet another standout fight that pits two of the best in the world against one another. Add their history in the amateurs into the mix and you’ve got the makings of a truly special meeting.

Boxing on the box

June 4
Kenichi Ogawa-Joe Cordina
DAZN
Coverage begins at 7pm

June 5
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Sky Sports Action
Coverage begins at 2am

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