There was more than a glimpse in just under nine minutes here in East London on Saturday night as to why Gervonta Davis is regarded by Floyd Mayweather as the greatest prospect in world boxing.
Pitting himself against the small army of support for IBF world super featherweight title challenger Liam Walsh, of Rochdale via Cromer, Davis started slowly, boxing with the Englishman, before eviscerating his foe with a barrage of vicious blows in the third stanza.
The denouement was thuggery at its best, the kind of finish borne of an upbringing when young men desperate for survival die at the hands of guns and gangs. Davis is of that mould, from the most dangerous projects of West-Baltimore.
And he fought like it against Walsh, no slouch so far in his career of 21 fights, undefeated. Davis found a home for his left hand in under the ribcage of Walsh’s right hand side in the very first exchanges, and after cautiously boxing the opening two rounds – both of which he won with mostly left shots – he opened up in the third.
Walsh had held his own for those first six minutes. But the assault was a shock to the system of Walsh, who needed to turn the contest into a boxing chess match. Not a chance. Davis had decided, with Mayweather barking instructions from centre ring apron and doing interviews for BT Sport between rounds, to impose himself from the seventh minute of the title defence.
He started by talking to Walsh, urging him to come and fight. Then, up the gears went Davis like a flash, showing more venom and intent, landing lefts to body and winging left overhands. Down went Walsh.
The first time he was down from a left to the temple, and as he regained his feet, Davis moved in for the kill, as the Norfolk man tried to clinch and tie the Baltimore fighter up. Down he went again under another vicious barrage.
Davis said: “I think he was hurt pretty bad, the referee did his job.
“It was just a matter of time before I got him. I used my boxing IQ tonight and picked my shots. When I connected I got him out of there. I’m still on the rise. I became a champion super fast.”
Two minutes and eleven seconds into round three and it was all over. Walsh complained that the stoppage was too early. It didn’t look that way, ‘The Tank’ will move on, impressive, and looking for his next victim. ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, sitting ringside, and a former great in the featherweight division, made a beeline for Davis.
“I wanted him to know I believe he will be a Hall of Fame fighter,” Hamed told The Sunday Telegraph. Long way to go yet, but Davis has it all. He can box, fight, brawl – and win. That’s what happens when talented boxers come from the ghetto.
Source: Gareth Davies, The Telegraph