Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe claims that Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is the biggest name in three weight classes from 130 to 140.
Tank certainly has the potential of being the biggest name in those weight classes, but his promoters aren’t helping him by matching him against guys like Barrios, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Leo Santa Cruz.
Tank (24-0, 23 KOs) will be fighting for the first time at 140 this month when he challenges WBA ‘regular’ light welterweight champion Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) on June 26th on Showtime pay-per-view at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The fight card sells for $69.99 on Showtime PPV, which may put the event out of reach for a lot of boxing fans.
It’s too bad because Tank’s popularity could increase considerably if he wasn’t fighting on pay-per-view in this early stage in his career.
It’s a big statement by Ellerbe to say that Tank Davis is more popular than anyone at 130, 135 & 140.
There might be two or three fighters that are more popular than Tank, not that Ellerbe would ever admit it.
Tank has to figure Barrios out
‘This guy is very good and I’m not stupid. I’m not one of those ones that plays into the notion that this is going to be easy,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe about Mario Barrios being a tough opponent for Gervonta Davis.
“Tank has got to figure this s*** out. Barrios presents, I wouldn’t say, issues, but he has certain strengths that, if used in the right way, they could create a problem.
“The good thing about Tank is he wants to go out there and give the fans incredibly exciting fights. Obviously, with Barrios being undefeated, he doesn’t know what taking an L is like.
“He’s of the mindset that he want to go in there and shock the world. So Tank has got to be prepared from A to Z. He’s had a terrific camp, great sparring, his weight is good.
“He’ll be right on point where he needs to be. Yeah, it was better because Tank is starting to come into his own.
“This is his second full camp in Vegas, and he loves it here for a number of reasons. The solitude. Him and his training team are out here, and he’s comfortable.
“He has laser focus, there are no distractions out here, and that’s what you need when you’re a championship-level fighter.
“I think he’s grown into a comfort zone that’s allowed him to be at his best,” said Ellerbe.
In looking at Barrios’ best opponent to date, Ryan Karl, it should be very easy for Tank to figure him out and chop him down.
Barrios wouldn’t be a champion if not for the WBA having two world titles in the 140-lb division.
Davis should be on the p-4-p list
“I’m very confident that on the 26th of June, we’re going to see an even better version of Gervonta Davis than we saw in his last fight against Leo Santa Cruz,” Ellerbe continued.
“Tank should have been on the pound-for-pound list, but I don’t care about none of that.
“That’s for the media people to speculate because one week it’s this guy.
“That s*** don’t mean nothing because I already know that Tank is one of the best fighters in the world, and he’s been that way.
Again, it’s for you guys to see it and understand that. What he’s essentially done is become a box office attraction right in front of everyone’s eyes.
“Y’all have only see him walk guys down and hit them with big shots, but he’s a very slick boxer when he needs to,” Ellerbe said of Gervonta.
“But when have to go in your bag when you don’t have to. Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see,” Ellerbe said when asked if Tank Davis will need to go into his bag for his fight with Barrios.
“He’ll know when he gets in there with Barrios what kinds of problems Barrios brings. Obviously, with him being tall and rangy, you got to know how to use that and be effective with that.
“Tank knows how to do it all. He can box he can bang, and he has a very good defense.
“Tank wants to come out in this fight and be better than he was in his last fight, I can tell you that right now,” said Ellerbe.
With the mediocre opposition that Tank has been feasting on, you can’t give him a high ranking in the pound-for-pound list.
It’s so clear that Mayweather Promotions is matching Tank against beatable fighters exclusively, so you got to demote him down low on the pound-for-pound list for that reason.
Tank seems like a good fighter, but his promoters feed him fodder to make him look better than he is.
In other words, they’re showing extreme reluctance to match Tank against good fighters that could potentially beat him. Tank is being matched in the same way Jermall Charlo is at 160.
Charlo is being put in with guys that have no chance of beating him, and he, like Gervonta, seems content with how he’s being matched.
Ellerbe: Tank the biggest name at 130, 135 & 140
“He has a tremendous task in front of him on the 26th, and I’ll never look past anyone of that nature,” Ellerbe said. “Tank is one of the few fighters in the sport that has the versatility to do different things.
“Right now, he’s the biggest name at 130, 135, and 140,” Ellerbe said. “He hasn’t had one fight at 140 yet, and he’s already the biggest name.
“Tremendous,” said Ellerbe when asked about ticket sales for the Tank Davis vs. Mario Barrios fight.
“In the first hour, he sold more tickets than some of these guys got in their entire fight, and that’s a fact and the numbers don’t lie.
“Again, we expect another tremendous sellout in the great city of Atlanta. It’s going to be a movie. That’s exactly what it is going to be,” Ellerbe said.
Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez could be more popular than Tank Davis at 135. At 130 and 140, Tank might be popular than everyone in those weight classes.
Davis can sellout arena anywhere
“Atlanta is his second home. They love him down there,” Ellerbe continued about Tank Davis “The one key thing about being a box office attraction and being a fighter that the fans want to see is he gives them exactly what they want to see.
“So it doesn’t matter where he goes to fight, he’s going to sell the arena out.
“I’ve been in this game operating at the highest levels for a number of years,” Ellerbe said. “He’s a once in a generational type of fighter.
“He has that IT factor, and he’s starting to understand what that all kind of means.
“He knows and sees that he’s a much bigger fighter than he was even in his last fight [against Leo Santa Cruz].
“When you look around at all the celebrities that were at his event, and all the accolades that he got from all the mainstream superstars in the world, it just goes to show that the level he’s operating at and the eyeballs that are locked in to see him.
“They know when he comes, and every time he steps in the ring, he’s looking to get your a** out of there,” said Ellerbe.
We haven’t seen Tank Davis fight everywhere, so what Ellerbe is saying is just lip service. All we know is Tank sells well in places like Baltimore and Atlanta.
You can’t include Texas because the fans that bought tickets for his fight in San Antonio were Leo Santa Cruz’s fans, not his.
Gervonta a bigger name than Ryan Garcia
“Tank is bigger than all those guys combined, the younger guys,” said Ellerbe. “You can put them all into one ball of wax, and he’s bigger than all of them together and it ain’t even close.
“And Ryan Garcia too because the numbers don’t lie. He’s [Ryan Garcia] has been able to get a lot of attention on social media, but that has to translate to becoming a box office attraction.
“Tank has shown that he can go to the UK, LA, he can go to New York, he can go to Baltimore, and he can go to Atlanta. Everywhere he goes, he can get the same result.
“Who knows?” said Ellerbe when asked if Tank will one day fight Shakur Stevenson. “Shakur is a very good fighter. Tank’s a pay-per-view fighter.
“It’s a big difference. I’m not here to talk about Shakur. It’s all about Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis,” said Ellerbe in suddenly getting testy when asked about Tank fighting Shakur.
It’s questionable whether Tank Davis is a bigger name than Ryan Garcia, but it could be true.
What we do know is if Mayweather Promotions doesn’t start matching Tank against better fighters, they’re going to stunt his career.
Tank’s popularity may have already been stultified by his promoter’s decision not to match him against talented fighters like Vasily Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, and Devin Haney.
Tank Davis would be so much more popular than he is today if Mayweather Promotions were putting him in with talented opposition instead of the old guys or the unknowns.
Gervonta’s last seven opponents:
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
- Ricardo Nunez
- Hugo Ruiz
- Jesus Marcellos Cuellar
- Francisco Fonseca
- Liam Walsh