Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, boxing’s hottest young attraction, and unbeaten No.1 ranked contender and mandatory challenger Rolando Romero squared off at a tense final press conference Thursday before they meet in the SHOWTIME PPV main event this Saturday, May 28 headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday from Brooklyn Marriott:
“I want to thank everybody for coming out. I appreciate everyone who came out today and everyone who made this fight happen. The talking is over, and the time for fighting is now. I’m ready, and I’m happy to be at this point.
“We’ve been working hard in camp, and we know that ‘Rolly’ will come out in round one and try to knock me out, as he said. I’ll be ready for that. I’ll see everyone Saturday. The time is here, and I’m ready.
“I’m excited to be back in Brooklyn and at Barclays Center. This is a great city that continually shows me love. It’s always been like a second home to me. I’m grateful to be back.
“I won my first title here in Brooklyn and then won a second title at Barclays Center. I feel like this fight at this arena is great for boxing.
“I’m maturing and still learning as I walk this path. I have the people I started with around me, and I’m grateful. Nothing else to say except Saturday night is ‘Rolly’s’ due date.
“This is going to be fireworks. It’s going to be crazy in there. I hope he doesn’t use his elbows like he does a lot.
“I don’t think he’s awkward. I think he’s a guy who just started fighting. He’s like someone who just came into the gym. He’s like someone who thinks he’s lovely now even though he hasn’t gotten it down pat yet. Real fighters know awkward fighters; he’s just a dumb fighter.
“I want to show people that there are different levels of boxing. Some people play boxing, and some have been doing this since they were kids. It’s time to show that I’m one of the guys who’s not to be played with. It starts with him, and it’s going to continue.”
“This guy Davis talks about everything but the fight. He’s taking this fight personally. He’s very emotional. That’s why I’ve been calling him out. My job is just to beat him up.
“He has a big head for me to hit. I’m not going to say what punch I’m getting him with, but you’ll see it on Saturday night. This ends in one round.
“I’m ready to get violent in the ring. I’m smiling right now, but Saturday is going to be different. I feel extremely calm in the ring. I get into ‘Rolly’ mode.
“He never knows what to say or how to react to anything. He’s scared of me. He’s taking this fight too seriously. When have you seen him this skinny before a war?
“You guys will see ‘Tank’ get knocked out in one round Saturday night at Barclays Center. Nothing else needs to be said.
“I got to this point faster than anyone else, and I’m here for a reason. I’m the new face of boxing, and everyone will see me on Saturday when I knock ‘Tank’ out.
“All ‘Tank’ does is the same essential pad work like everyone else. They all get knocked out when they run into a big puncher. Just like his guy Adrien Broner, this will be an Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana sequel.
“I’m going to go in there and hit him with one punch, and we’re going to be done.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Saturday night can’t get here fast enough. I’ve been in and around this sport for over 45 years, and I can honestly say that this is one of the most anticipated fights I’ve been involved with.
“Come Saturday night, somebody will lose, and somebody is getting knocked out. Both guys have gotten up for this fight no matter what anyone says. I know both guys are in tremendous shape. They’ve had excellent camps.
“In my eyes, this is a brutal fight for both guys. Sometimes, a person is supposed to win, but it doesn’t come out like that. Sometimes that person gets it done.
“Over the last year, we’ve all seen Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Anthony Joshua, and Chris Colbert come into their fights knowing they would win the battle. Somehow they came up short.
“When you look at ‘Tank,’ he’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s one of the best fighters in the entire world. When you look at ‘Rolly,’ many people talk about what he can’t do, but from experience, that looks different when you’re up in it in the ring.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President of SHOWTIME Sports
“This is the third fight on a very intense six-week stretch of high-level boxing on SHOWTIME. It is part of an incredible run of top-tier fights on the network. Now, we have this grudge match between one of the sport’s brightest young stars Gervonta Davis and his most heated rival, the power-punching K.O. artist Rolando Romero.
“No other network is televising more meaningful, high-stakes, and entertaining fights. These guys all watch each other’s struggles, and they’re competitive, and no one wants to put up a boring fight. Neither fighter wants this to go 12 rounds. I’m very confident that this streak of stoppages will continue.
“SHOWTIME televised the first boxing event at Barclays Center, and since then, we’ve done 20 more, making Saturday our 22nd fight at Barclays Center. ‘Tank’s’ first fight at Barclays Center was memorable in itself, and since then, he’s sold-out venues in L.A., Atlanta, and Baltimore, and now back to Brooklyn, where he’s on track for another sellout.
“This will be ‘Tank’s’ 12th time fighting on SHOWTIME, and we’re thrilled to have watched him grow up and mature into one of the biggest stars in boxing. When ‘Tank’ fights, it’s an event, and this one may be the most exciting yet.
“When you talk about the young stars of boxing, ‘Tank’ is in a class by himself. There isn’t another young fighter in the sport who generates the buzz and excitement that ‘Tank’ does. But none of that matters on Saturday night.
“Romero has proven himself on SHOWTIME before. You can call him awkward or unorthodox; you can say anything. One thing you can’t argue with is ‘Rolly’s’ power. That’s what has everybody so intrigued.”