Baltimore loves to cheer on the hometown sports heroes. After last weekend, there’s a new world champion to start tracking.
Boxer Gervonta Davis scored a seventh round knockout of Jose Pedraza to become the IBF junior lightweight champion of the world. ESPN said the 22-year-old displayed the “fury and intensity of a young Mike Tyson.” The fight at Barclays in Brooklyn was a “potentially star-making performance,” wrote Dan Rafael. An interview with TMZ with mention of a potential Rhianna courtship appeared to confirm this.
Baltimore! my people I couldn’t did it without y’all…I was not alone last night…I felt the love. THANK YOU!
— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) January 15, 2017
The fighter known as Tank grew up in Sandtown-Winchester. He still trains at the Upton Boxing Center in West Baltimore, ABC2 News reports. The gym sees a lot of young fighters, but Davis’ potential was clear.
“People talk about Gervonta differently than other boxers. They talk about his footwork, his ability to go to the body—they talk about him in different, more technical terms than they do other boxers in the area,” a trainer told Vice last year.
He’s also backed by one of the best in the world. Floyd Mayweather is Davis’ promoter, though the famed fighter said he didn’t talk to Davis during training.
Davis told TMZ he plans to celebrate the win in Dubai. But there might be a chance to see him fight in his hometown this year. There are early rumblings that the title defense could come in Baltimore.