The odds are high that you or someone you know is going to be tuning in for tomorrow night’s much-anticipated, but pretty ridiculous boxing match between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Conor McGregor. If you (or that person you know) start watching early, there will an opportunity to root on another world champion fighter who calls Baltimore home.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis, West Baltimore’s 22-year-old junior lightweight titleholder and Mayweather’s undefeated protégé, is taking on Costa Rican challenger Francisco Fonseca in the headlining undercard fight. The boxing match will be Davis’ pay-per-view debut and a chance for him to achieve some more glory as the sport’s youngest world champion.
Strictly based on record, Fonseca (19-0-1) would seem like a solid challenger for Davis (18-0). But as Bleacher Report pointed out, Fonseca has only fought twice outside of Costa Rica, recorded a draw in his professional debut and has never competed on a stage approaching the size of the one this Saturday.
Davis, meanwhile, is coming off of two stellar fights: a seventh-round knockout of Jose Pedraza in January, in which he won his junior lightweight belt, and a third-round knockout of Liam Walsh in May in which he successfully defended it. After that last expedient win, “Tank” is being billed as the “future of boxing.” (Not coincidentally, he also inked an endorsement deal with Under Armour.)
And what a stage for him to compete on this Saturday. The Mayweather-McGregor fight, available to order from Showtime, is expected to be the biggest pay-per-view event in boxing history. It’s also an absurd, extremely hyped contest between Mayweather, an undefeated world champion boxer, and McGregor, a UFC mixed-martial artist who’s built his career in a sport with thinner gloves and completely different rules. Mayweather is going to be a fish in water, while McGregor is basically limiting his skill set to one element of his craft – punching – with thicker gloves.
Whatever happens, both legendary fighters are going to make a lot of money off of this, not even including the potential for a rematch if McGregor can pull off the upset. Plus, it’s a boon for Baltimore’s most famous fighter, whose fight sits at the top of the undercard.
“I’m grateful and blessed to be in the position for Floyd to pick me to be on the card,” Davis told ESPN. “I’m thankful to have him in my corner.”
Davis-Fonseca will air on Showtime during the undercard matchups, which start at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Mayweather-McGregor fight is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.