Gervonta Davis claimed the vacant World Boxing Association world title with a 12th round knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa, becoming a two-weight champion.
Davis, nicknamed Tank, is already the WBA Super Featherweight champion and has been all over Gamboa to earn the 22nd KO of his 23 fight career to stay unbeaten.
Protector of the great boxing Floyd Mayweather, Davis was the protagonist of the whole fight with all three judges who gave him everything except the seventh round of combat.
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Davis had shot down Gamboa twice during the fight, but his finisher was something special.
Halfway through the twelfth round, Davis was looking for the KO, throwing huge hay producers.
After a straight left that had Gamboa on wobbly legs, Davis absorbed a sinister blow before ending the fight with a wild uppercut.
After the fight, Davis said he knew Gamboa wasn’t going to be a pushover.
“I wasn’t pressed for the knockout,” said Davis. “Once I saw that I was hurting him and he wasn’t getting out of there, I just had to tweak it and win the rounds.”
It was the first time in his career that Davis had to fight after the ninth round.
Davis, becoming a two-division champion in his hometown of Atlanta, in the city’s first championship fight since Evander Holyfield 21 years ago.
He landed a left hand to take down the veteran in the closing seconds of the eighth, bringing fans to the lower bowl in the exhausted state farm arena.
“I have proven to be an elite fighter,” said Davis. “I’m not trying to rush him, get him out of there and end up getting caught. That was my main goal. Don’t try to rush him. Touch it up and show people I have skills.”
Davis had a dramatic lead in the fight after being fined by the Georgia State Athletic Commission for lack of weight, tilting the scales to 136.2 pounds and taking the two extra hours needed to make 134 3/4. He also pushed Gamboa face down.
But despite the win, Davis was slammed for his performance after failing to put Gamboa away.
38-year-old Gamboa confirmed that he suffered a serious Achilles heel injury in the second round.
“I feel good, but I think I broke the Achilles tendon before I fell in the second round,” said Gamboa after the fight. “I am a warrior and I continued, but as soon as I fell, I knew it had broken. I could not put pressure on it. I wanted to go on. I said at my corner that it was a problem, but I wanted to go on because I am a warrior “.
While Davis was in another class with Gamboa, fans and pros targeted the 25-year-old champion.
– with AP