Gervonta "Tank" Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) and Rolando Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) will finally settle their feud on Saturday night in a pay-per-view showdown at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The two prizefighters were set to clash in December, but an accusation of sexual assault against Romero led to him being pulled from the bout. No formal charges were filed against him. Instead, Davis fought Isaac Cruz on that December card, beating him by a close unanimous decision in Los Angeles. It was a difficult fight for Tank, the WBA secondary lightweight champion, but he did enough to convince all three judges.
Romero, 26, has made it clear he thinks little of Davis' undefeated record and penchant for the big knockout. He believes he has what it takes to usurp Davis as one of the sport's brightest young stars.
“They'll go where the money is," Romero said, per Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole. "And the money is going to be with me. I'm going to be the next superstar in boxing and it begins on Saturday."
Like Davis, Romero is undefeated with an excellent knockout record. His physicality and power mean Davis will have to be sharper than he was against Cruz if he wants to maintain his status as one of the top draws in the sport.
Here's what you need to know before the fight.
When: Saturday, May 28 at 9 p.m. ET (main card), 11 p.m. ET approx. for main event
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn
TV: Showtime PPV
Live stream: SHO.com PPV
Odds: Davis -1000 (bet $1,000 to win $100), Romero +600 (bet $100 to win $600)
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Assuming there isn't an early stunner, this fight promises to be a tense affair because of the power involved. Both Davis and Romero are no strangers to highlight-reel knockouts. Davis is the favorite and the clear A-side boxer, but he can't afford to be overconfident. Whether these two swing away with abandon early on or approach each other with caution, there will be a constant threat of a fight-ending (or at least fight-changing) punch.
While Romero is coming into this fight brimming with confidence, it has to be understood that he's facing his toughest opponent yet, and by a long way. The Las Vegas native hasn't fought anyone of Davis' caliber, and his decision-win over Jackson Marinez in August 2020 was widely panned. If he truly is going to be a star in this sport, this is the chance for him to show it.
Davis, meanwhile, has been tested much more often than Romero. He dominated at junior lightweight before moving up to the 135-pound division, and no fighter has yet solved his combination of power and tricky southpaw combinations. Wins over the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Leo Santa Cruz and Cruz have shown he's capable of making adjustments in the ring and coming out on top.
Sure, Davis has defensive lapses, but he's rarely been troubled in his matches, and his chin seems sturdy enough. Cruz had him fighting on the back foot for several stretches in their meeting, but Davis managed to see his way out of the rough patches and land more punches overall. The 27-year-old Baltimore native may also have been dealing with a hand injury that hampered him in the later rounds of the bout.
Romero might be inclined to copy Cruz's strategy and go right after Davis, hoping to throw him off his game and make him feel the sting of his punches early on. Bad Left Hook's Wil Esco believes he has a chance at an upset, saying the matchup, "has the makings to be a Broner-Maidana affair where the awkward and powerful fighter gives fits to the stylist. Rolly shakes Tank up early in the fight, and Tank is never able to recover his legs enough to keep Rolly off of him."
That'll be easier said than done, as Romero will have to respect Davis' power lest he be caught with a knockout punch. Davis loves to use his uppercut, and close-quarter fighting could allow him to do some damage with it.
Romero has the bigger frame, but Davis is the more well-rounded fighter. If the latter has the right game plan and mentality going into this fight, he should be able to come up with a win. Look for an aggressive Romero to try to rough up Davis early on, only to see himself get outclassed in the middle rounds and suffer a stoppage loss.sfdsdf