The Year’s Most Intense Grudge-Match
There could be, in fact should be, fireworks this Saturday night at The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Genuinely bad blood rivals Gervonta Davis and Rolando Romero will settle their differences, the two having exchanged insults and threats for some time. In fact, it’s been Romero, 14-0(12) doing most of the trash-talking, with the challenger for the WBA 135 pound title going as far as to say he will knock “Tank” out in the very first round.
Romero feels he has “seen fear” in the eyes of Davis in the lead-up to Saturday’s fight, and he says he will punish the man he says has shown him no respect. Tank says differently, naturally. Both men fancy themselves as the best young fighter out there today, and the winner will take one big step towards achieving the goal of being the next face of boxing. Well, maybe.
Davis, 26-0(24) struggled in his last fight, this against Isaac Cruz who took him the distance in a pretty close fight in December. Romero, who had a tough time of things with Jackson Marinez in August of 2020, with plenty of people feeling Romero’s decision win was an outright robbery. Romero has won two fights since, winning both by stoppage. Saturday’s fight is the biggest test yet for Romero, yet he seems utterly full of belief that he will pass it in style.
Southpaw Davis is the naturally smaller guy, with the slightly shorter reach, yet he has far more ring experience than his challenger. Romero has put added pressure on himself by vowing, even promising, to KO Tank in short order. Needless to say, it would be a real statement from Romero if he managed to do it.
Leonard Ellerbe, just prior to the Davis-Romero fight being postponed back in December (this due to claims of sexual assault filed against Romero, him since being cleared of all charges) said we would get a “modern day Hagler-Hearns.” All these years after the epic War, those hectic three rounds remain the benchmark. Ellerbe also stated how “these two hate each other,” and again, Tank and Rolly do not get on.
We will see something exciting on Saturday, that seems likely. But Hagler-Hearns type quality might be asking for too much. The bad blood is real though, and the sizeable ego belonging to both fighters will ensure defeat will be avoided at all costs. Something explosive could happen, and both men may get hurt along the way. But Tank, in this case the quieter, perhaps more self-assured fighter, has to be the pick to win. It’s up to Romero to live up to his boasts and prove such a pick wrong.