Two-time super featherweight champion Gervonta “Tank’’ Davis, Mayweather Promotions’ top rising star and boxing’s hottest attraction, went face to face with former unified champion Yuriorkis Gamboa Tuesday at a press conference in Atlanta to preview their battle for the vacant WBA Lightweight title taking place Saturday, December 28 live on SHOWTIME in a special year-end Premier Boxing Champions event.
The championship showdown will be live from the award-winning State Farm Arena and is the first boxing title fight to take place in Atlanta since Evander Holyfield vs. Vaughn Bean on September 19, 1998.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions, are available through Ticketmaster.com.
While in Atlanta, Davis visited the site of his December 28 title fight and was acknowledged on the big screen inside the arena before and during Monday’s Atlanta Hawks game.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday from the open to the public event at Republic Lounge:
“December 28 is going to be an action packed fight, and not just my fight, but the whole card is going to be great. We’re training hard right now so we can live up to the hype. This is going to be a big event on December 28, not just a boxing show.
“I want to keep getting better and better inside that squared circle. I hope Gamboa brings the best out of me so that people can see that I’m not just a power puncher. I have a lot of boxing skills.
“I’ve always wanted to fight here. Atlanta has accepted me with open arms. Baltimore is always my first home, but being able to come here is special and I really appreciate the support.
“Coming up in weight is something that I know I have to do to be great. Gamboa is a tough opponent. He’s a gold medalist who hits hard. I’m going to test the waters and December 28 I’m going to show everyone what I can do.
“I believe this is the biggest test of my career so far. He’s very accomplished and we know that he’s explosive and comes to fight. He’s a tough opponent but we’re ready. We’re not taking him lightly at all.
“I don’t recall too much from when we sparred, but I remember he got out of the ring quicker than he was supposed to. It’s different sparring than on December 28. I’ll be ready and hopefully he’s ready to give the fans what they want to see.
“This is a really big challenge for me and we know that Gamboa is a bigger guy. He’s an action packed fighter with power and speed. It’s going to be great for the sport and we’re going to make it a great night.
“The fans should expect action on December 28. I’m going to give it my all and I’m going to put him down on his face.”
“I recognize that Gervonta has done great things so far in his career. He’s had his glory, and I’ve had mine. I’ve been champion in different weight classes. We’re putting the work in and I assure you December 28 will be a great test for both of us.
“When I came out to Baltimore and knocked out Roman Martinez, I proved to the naysayers that I have a lot left in the tank. On December 28, my goal is to continue to prove everyone wrong.
“I know that we’re both coming to win, but in my heart and my soul, I see myself winning on December 28. I’ll leave it all in the ring to do so.
“Calvin Ford can say whatever he wants about how long I can stand up to the power, but it’s Gervonta who has to step in the ring with me. Come December 28, I’ll show everyone what I can do and prove everyone wrong.
“Everyone in Atlanta is going to see a great war. It’s going to be two warriors fighting in the middle of that ring and may the best man win that night.
“We sparred a few rounds before but I don’t remember much from it. It wasn’t in preparation for a fight or anything. What matters is the fight on December 28 and on that one, I’ll be at my best.
“I’d like to thank everyone who helped get me this opportunity and of course the city of Atlanta for having me here to talk about this great event we’re going to have on December 28.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“This is an honor to be here in Atlanta for this fight. We’re very focused on this fight on December 28. I know Gamboa’s coach and his background and this is a great step up for our camp and for Gervonta.
“Gamboa has been winning and doing his job. Gervonta is the young champion and Gamboa is looking for that glory again. I believe Gamboa is a fighter who is going to really try to bring the best out of Gervonta.
“This is a great chance to see what we’re really made of. We’re really looking forward to this fight and we want Gamboa to be that guy who will bring the best out of Gervonta. We’ll see if he can stand up to him on December 28.”
TONY GONZALEZ, Gamboa’s Advisor
“We’re very happy to be a part of this great fight and event. This is a great opportunity for Gamboa. He’s been training hard since before his last fight up in Gervonta’s hometown of Baltimore, but I’ll let Gamboa do most of the talking.
“It’s been a long journey back. He’s a great former world champion, and he’s already been an interim champion at 135-pounds. He’s ready to give it his all and I’m sure Gervonta feels the same. We’re looking forward to a great fight.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“I’m truly excited to be in this great city of Atlanta and to be bringing big time boxing to the city. Gervonta was very very adamant about bringing this fight to his home away from home. After a huge turnout in Baltimore on July 27, what better city to bring a big time event to than Atlanta?
“On December 28 I guarantee you the entire city will be lit. It will be a movie. We have a great card from top to bottom. Including Mayweather Promotions’ own Badou Jack taking on WBA Light Heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. That’s going to be a tremendous bout, with even more exciting bouts to be announced soon.”