Keith Thurman thinks Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is taking a big risk in moving up two weight classes to challenge Mario Barrios for his WBA ‘regular’ World Light Welterweight title.
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) one of the hardest hitters in the sport – and also one of the biggest names – will attempt to win a world title in a third division when he challenges Barrios this Saturday, June 26, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta in a SHOWTIME pay-per-view presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) is a well-schooled, power-puncher who, at 5-foot-10, will hold a significant size advantage over the 5-foot-five Davis. All that could spell trouble for Davis says Thurman, the former unified world welterweight champion.
“I’ve heard of him, I haven’t seen a lot of him, and I’ve heard a lot of people like him,” Thurman told FightHype.com.
“We all love Tank. We know he’s very talented. People before him [Gervonta] have already done those kinds of jumps and feats, and he probably thinks, ‘I’ve got those same talents if not more than these individuals had, so I believe I can accomplish the same thing.’
Thurman believes such thinking is risky.
“I love Tank, but the moment the little man moves up, it’s like playing with fire or turning up the heat in the kitchen,” said Thurman.
“It’s not that he can’t take the heat, but if he’s skipping weight classes, he’s definitely turning the heat up. He’s demanding more of himself, and I look forward to how he performs.”
There are many who believe this is far too big a risk for Davis and that, even if he wins, it certainly won’t come easy and could come at the risk of him getting seriously hurt.
However, Davis should be lauded for daring to be great.
“We all challenge ourselves to be great as a fighter, and that’s basically what I’m doing, challenging myself,” Davis told Brian Custer’s podcast, The Last Stand.
“He’s bigger. He’s stronger. He’s taller. He’s got a longer arm reach. I don’t know, but it’s definitely going to be a fight to remember. I’m definitely looking to put on a great performance; that’s what makes for a great PPV star. He’s another test I got to go through, and on June 26th, there’s definitely going to be fireworks.”