Gervonta “Tank” Davis did pretty much as anticipated in his homecoming title defense against mandatory challenger Ricardo Nunez tonight in Baltimore, stopping the Panamanian underdog in the second round.
Davis (22-0, 21 KO) cracked Nunez (21-3, 19 KO) with a good left hand in the second after a mostly quiet first, clearly hurting the challenger. Nunez stayed up as Davis threw shots with Nunez against the ropes, and referee Harvey Dock jumped in to call a halt to the fight.
The immediate reaction from a lot of us watching in the live thread and even the Showtime commentary crew was it could definitely be seen as an early stoppage. But as we just saw two fighters die after fights last weekend, including Maxim Dadashev in Maryland, it’s understandable that officials may be looking even more safety-first than they usually do, and as much as we might not want to see early stoppages, always better early than too late.
“He got hit with a couple of big shots. I saw he was defenseless, so I stopped the fight,” referee Harvey Dock said after the fight.
Dock, it needs to be said, is a terrific referee, one of the best in the sport.
For Davis, it was an expected victory, and his second straight steamroller win in 2019. At 24, he’s about to enter what should really be his prime years, and the feeling is it’s time for him to face serious challenges, or at least the guys out there who might be able to present one.
Davis has had a long-running media beef with fellow 130-pound titleholder Tevin Farmer, who was fighting at the same time tonight in Texas. Gervonta says that’s the fight he wants next, naming nobody else.
“I want Tevin Farmer in my next fight,” Davis said. “It can be made. Let’s get it on later this year.”
Davis-Farmer would do good buzz and business, I suspect, and while it wouldn’t be the easiest fight to get made, it’s certainly possible if the money is right.
Promoter Floyd Mayweather was full of praise for Davis after the victory, too.
“Tank is an unbelievable fighter. When I first seen this kid box, I knew he was something special,” Mayweather said. “This is a pay-per-view star. He has the charisma, the will to win, he works extremely hard, he has a great team. The only thing we can do is continue to push him and help him go to the top. He’s one of the top guys pound-for-pound right now.”