There are definitely perks to being the protege to a fighter as successful as Floyd Mayweather Jr. For instance, making your pay-per-view debut as the lead-in fight before the biggest pay-per-view event in combat sports history.
That’s exactly what 22-year-old Gervonta Davis has before him on Saturday night. He’ll take on fellow undefeated prospect Francisco Fonseca for the IBF Super Featherweight title in the lead-in to the McGregor-Mayweather spectacle.
With record pay-per-view numbers expected, it’s a great opportunity for Davis to step up his profile as the future of the sport.
Check out below for all the information needed to catch the championship fight between Davis and Fonseca.
Date: August 26, 2017
Time: Main Card starts at 9 p.m. ET
TV: Showtime Pay-per-view
Live Stream: Showtime Pay-per-view
How Davis Got Here
There’s a reason that Davis is getting the push on Saturday night. He’s the perfect candidate to be declared the future of the sport after this momentous event.
Davis is the youngest champion in the sport of boxing at 22 years old and already has a classic rags-to-riches story. Growing up in inner-city Baltimore, he’s overcome poverty and hardships to be a successful boxer with his eye on replacing his promoter as the biggest draw in the sport.
“I wanted to be that guy they talk about. I want to be the guy that shine. I want to be that No. 1 guy,” Davis said, per Gabe Hiatt of the Washington Post. “I’m just ready for Floyd to pass the torch on to me.”
He’s backing that talk up in the ring right now. Davis won the 130-pound title with a seventh-round TKO over Jose Pedraza and followed up the performance with a third-round destruction of Liam Walsh.
The southpaw has a promising combination of speed and power that allows him to back up the hype.
How Fonseca Got Here
Fonseca is obviously the sacrificial lamb to Davis’ rising star. Although he’s undefeated, the +4000 odds (bet $100 to win $4,000) he’s getting, per OddsShark, are an indication that there isn’t a whole lot of belief for the Costa Rican.
That’s because he will be fighting a much different beast than he’s used to on Saturday. Fonseca has only fought outside of his native country twice in 20 fights, and many of his wins have come against sub-.500 fighters.
A quick perusal of some YouTube footage of Fonseca’s fights show a fighter who hasn’t fought on nearly as big a stage as he’ll see Saturday. Combine that with skills that don’t necessarily demand to be noted against mediocre to poor competition and this might be a bit more than he can chew.
This one should play out exactly the way that it’s “supposed” to.
Floyd Mayweather has always been as good a promoter as he is a boxer, and pitting Davis against Fonseca here was great matchmaking. While the 23-year-old doesn’t have the skills of Davis, he’s still got an undefeated record that will look nice as people watch the fight in preparation of the main event.
Davis is worth keeping an eye on. In 17 of his 18 victories, he’s won the fight by some form of knockout.
#BlastFromThePast – 12.18.15 – Then one of boxing’s fastest-rising prospects, @Gervontaa displayed his elite one-punch KO power on Spike. https://t.co/HxKWLAvRyf
He’s skilled and has strong ringcraft, but he also has some raw power that’s fun to watch.
In the end, Fonseca will press in the first round but quickly find there’s a major talent disparity here. As Davis gets more comfortable in the ring, his supreme talent should take over, and he’ll put on a show that will win him some fans on Saturday night.
The real test will be seeing how big a star he can become when his mentor and promoter walks away from the sport.
Prediction: Davis by fourth-round TKO