The youngest world champion on the planet will fight in the UK for the first time in his career when the highly-rated Gervonta Davis defends his title against Liam Walsh next month.
Davis, a protege of the great Floyd Mayweather Jr, will defend his IBF world super-featherweight title against Walsh at London’s Copper Box Arena on May 20th.
The 22-year-old – ominously nicknamed Tank – is considered to be one of the best young boxers around and is tipped to beat Walsh despite his more experienced rival having home advantage.
At 30, Walsh is eight years older than Davis but this is the biggest fight of his career, with the current Commonwealth super featherweight champion unbeaten in his 21 bouts to date.
The explosive Davis is also unbeaten, with 16 of his fights being won by knockout, so someone’s record is going to go in this enticing battle.
Davis is mentored by the legendary Mayweather, who continues to float rumours about potentially coming out of retirement to take on the Irish MMA star Conor McGregor.
Mayweather’s involvement threatens to overshadow what should be a very well-matched bout, with Walsh having beaten Russia’s Andrey Klimov to set up the May meeting.
In his last fight, Davis destroyed Puerto Rico’s Jose Pedraza inside seven rounds on the Badou Jack-James DeGale undercard to claim his first world title belt, and the Baltimore-born boxer is tipped to go right to the top under the stewardship of Mayweather.
But in the form of Walsh, Davis faces a man who has had to wait until the age of 30 to get his shot at the big time – and he will be determined to make the most of his moment in the spotlight.
Davis is still expected to have too much class for Walsh on the night and his best price of 1/4 reflects the fact that if he performs anywhere near his best, he should have enough to win.
Car Crash Victim
Walsh was all set to challenge Ricky Burns in what would have been the biggest fight of his career in 2012, before injuries sustained in a car crash forced him to withdraw.
The WBO lightweight title had been on the line, with Walsh having come through his first 13 bouts unscathed, and he was gutted to have to pull out.
Walsh was fortunate to escape with relatively minor injuries, with torn muscles and soft tissue damage the worst he suffered, apart from the hurt of withdrawing from the fight of his life.
Having won twice before at the Copper Box Arena, Walsh will be in familiar surroundings, whereas Davis is fighting away from his homeland for the first time in his career, which could give the Briton an edge.
But nevertheless, the bookmakers have made Walsh the outsider for the May 20 bout and the best price available for him to beat Davis is 38/11.
The Next Superstar?
With Mayweather in Davis’ corner the hype machine surrounding the youngster has been out of control, with many tipping him to dominate his division for many years to come.
Southpaw Walsh himself has acknowledged that Davis has been pegged as boxing’s next superstar and he will be determined to inflict a damaging defeat on his highly-rated opponent, who demonstrated his power when he knocked out Mario Antonio Macias inside a minute last year.
As Walsh is represented by Frank Warren, there is an intriguing Warren v Mayweather subplot that is sure to make plenty of headlines in the days leading up to the fight.
But this promises to be one of the most spectacular bouts of the year and while Davis should be too good for Walsh, the Briton is expected to leave everything he has in the ring.