Gervonta Davis and That Elusive Star Quality


Whether or not Davis ever crashes the mainstream, the fact remains that he has nearly all of the characteristics necessary for popular sports recognition. Davis has a compelling backstory, a promotional relationship with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (somewhat stormy, although kayfabe can never be ruled out), a boorish social media presence, and, above all, he answers the bell for every fight determined to bring the pain. There is also a certain cartoon villainy to Davis that promises future negative appeal. He entered the ring against Santa Cruz wearing a sombrero and a color-coordinated outfit based on the Mexican national flag, all to mock the partisan crowd in Texas. (A few years ago, the novelist Lionel Shriver caused a ruckus by donning a sombrero during a lecture and thereby raising the risible specter of cultural appropriation