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Gervonta Davis-Yuriorkis Gamboa, Jean Pascal-Badou Jack official for December 28th in Atlanta

Davis and Gamboa will fight for the WBA “regular” lightweight title

Gervonta Davis v Ricardo Nunez Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Showtime today confirmed what we’ve known for a little under two weeks: Gervonta Davis will make his lightweight debut on December 28th in Atlanta, taking on Yuriorkis Gamboa for the WBA “regular” title last held by Jorge Linares in 2018. The co-feature will see Jean Pascal make the first defense of his interim WBA light heavyweight belt against Badou Jack.

The main event could charitably be described as a grievous mismatch. Gamboa (30-2, 18 KO), a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, was once in Davis’ (22-0, 21 KO) position, smashing all comers and looking for all the world like a generational talent. That was as a featherweight in the late-’00s/early-’10s, though, and the once-fearsome Guantanamo Cyclone has looked depressingly mediocre since his run-in with self-inflicted promotional issues and a fast-rising Terence Crawford. His most notable victory in the past six years was a bogus decision over Jason Sosa in 2017.

Davis, meanwhile, has shined in practically every fight besides a 2017 bout with Francisco Fonseca in which he missed weight coming in. He was already too big for 130 pounds, so size shouldn’t be an issue, and he has wide edges in speed, power, and durability. Gamboa is in trouble.

Pascal (34-6-1, 20 KO) vs. Jack (22-2-3, 13 KO)- came about through some mighty odd circumstances. Jack smashed Nathan Cleverly for the WBA belt in 2017, was stripped after failing to defend against Dmitry Bivol, unsuccessfully challenged Adonis Stevenson for the WBC belt, and then lost to Marcus Browne in a fight for the interim WBA belt. Browne went on to face Pascal, who’s been running on fumes for years, and wound up getting repeatedly dropped en route to losing a technical decision.

These two are actually only one year apart, oddly enough, and this could be competitive if Jack’s flat performance against Browne was a sign of deterioration.