Posted on 09/06/2021
By: Hans Themistode
For the most part, Gervonta “Tank” Davis was praised for his efforts.
Recently, the hard-hitting Baltimore native had his “dare to be great” moment, when he moved up two weight divisions to take on Mario Barrios. The two squared off at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia on June 26th. While Davis struggled early with the size and length advantage of Barrios, he eventually found his money shot, flooring Barrios a total of three times before stopping him in the 11th round.
With the win, Davis stripped Barrios of his WBA “Regular” title. Although fans of Davis have sung his praises for the brazen move, Gary Russell Jr. believes there’s was nothing audacious about Davis facing Barrios.
“It was strategized and it almost f*cking backfired,” said Russell during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “Their cherry-picking. What I mean by that is, they picking the easiest task or the easiest fighter and fighting that person. They trying to trick and bamboozle the fans.”
Russell’s frustrations aren’t simply tied to Davis facing Barrios. Several months prior to their showdown, Davis stood across the ring from former multiple division champion, Leo Santa Cruz. Despite his credentials, Cruz was pegged as the heavy underdog.
Just as most predicted, Davis scored an early finish on the night, turning Cruz’s lights out in the sixth round. But while Davis may have picked up stoppage victories against both Barrios and Cruz, Russell believes he was in serious trouble before the sudden endings.
“With Barrios, he was f*cking losing. He was honestly beating Tank. Even when he was fighting Leo, he was losing that fight.”
Currently, Davis is pondering an important decision. The 26-year-old is in possession of the WBA “Regular” title at both 135 and 140 pounds. Just a few days ago, Davis opted to drop his 130-pound version of the belt, as the sanctioning body is attempting to end the proliferation of world titles. He’ll now be forced to choose between holding onto his championship status at either 135 or 140 pounds.
While Davis has given no indication of what he’ll choose to do, Russell Jr. believes that there’s simply no way he’ll stick around in the 140-pound division.
“I know for a fact he ain’t gonna stay his ass up there at 140. He ain’t gonna stay at 140, not with that performance.”