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Tank Davis Vs The Top Names

If boxing were an orderly sport, there is one clear fight that would occur next following the recent one-sided victory by Devin Haney over George Kambosos Jr. That fight, of course, being Gervonta “Tank” Davis against Devin Haney. This would pit the undisputed fan favourite of the 135lb division against the undisputed title holder of the division.

However, this is not to be for in order for Devin Haney to get his shot at George Kambosos Jr he needed to sign a three-fight deal with Top Rank and Lou DiBella which obligates Haney to rematch Kambosos Jr if he wishes to retain his belts. The only option is to surrender his belts and move up to the junior welterweight division.

The rematch clause was there to protect the interests of Lou DiBella while the third fight was there to protect the interests of Top Rank who wish to get Vasyl Lomachenko, currently serving in the Ukrainian Army because of the Russian invasion, a shot at becoming undisputed yet again and more importantly maintain control of the title belts.

These are the types of political and financial moves players in the sport of boxing make with regular occurrence. Yet, it seems that only a select few boxers are treated by pundits as if these are not the rules of the sport.


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This is the position where some writers and networks have attempted to place Gervonta Davis. ESPN once dedicated three segments during a fight card to have their commentary crew declare that Tank was fighting “nobodies” and how he needed to fight the “names”.

Of course, this was when ESPN believed they were riding high on the back of Teofimo Lopez Jr and they were in control of all the belts. A position that would soon be put in jeopardy by Teofimo losing handedly to George Kambosos Jr.

But for the sake of entertainment let us go over this list of fighters who some believe Tank needs to fight. For this list really isn’t an assessment of unheralded skilled fighters, it is merely a recitation of the names people are familiar with.

As it stands now there are but three fighters of note that people are likely to bring up. Those three being Lomachenko, Haney and Ryan Garcia.

Vasyl Lomachenko was once perhaps a possibility to face Tank but that was dependent on him beating Teofimo. Something which he failed to do and then instead of getting a chance to face Kambosos Jr, he was sidelined by the aforementioned war. 

Now Loma is being angled to face Devin Haney once the rematch is out of the way. This is as long as Haney honours the rematch clause and does not move out of the division. Either scenario has both of these fighters tied up until at least the mid-point of 2023.

Which really leaves us with Ryan Garcia, the favourite fighter of boxing pundits who secretly wish they had been born a girl. Oh how they fawn over Ryan, as recently evidenced by Chris Mannix’s screed about how Tank NEEDS Ryan.  This is of course yet another self-serving piece from a DAZN employee who once again talks about his employer without noting his connection. This lack of disclosure is endemic in the boxing world.

In Mannix’s mind it makes complete sense for Showtime to do a joint-PPV with DAZN. At least to his credit he got a quote from Showtime Sports President, Stephen Espinoza, who provided a dose of reality to this needed bout.

“Candidly, I don't know what DAZN brings to the table, to be completely honest,” Espinoza told SI. “I understand what UFC brought to the table in Mayweather-McGregor. I understand what HBO brought to the table in Mayweather-Pacquiao. I don't understand what DAZN brings to the table. It's not a big enough fight to split up five different ways.”

This fight is not at any size to justify the added headache of doing a joint-PPV between the two outlets. Too many people think it’s just some simple manner for networks to do these types of deals despite the obvious history of them only happening less than five times in the history of boxing.

DAZN would be thrilled to do this deal because they have no clue what they are doing when it comes to major US fights and PPV as evidenced by their inability to make a profit on any US cards. With a joint PPV Showtime would have to disclose how they operate as part of the accounting exchange that is required in these deals. Now I do not know the full mindset of Mr. Espinoza but I am pretty sure he is not looking to show the outlet that stated they were going to put Showtime out of business how to run a successful promotion. And despite Oscar De La Hoya’s involvement with several PPV cards, well it is pretty clear to anyone with a familiarity with the sport that he was not exactly steering the ship on those events.

Which brings us to Mr. De La Hoya who really showed his cards this last week. It is clear to this observer that he has no intention of making any deals and is just trying to mimic Bob Arum’s patented pitch of declaring he is sending offers with no intent of ever making fights and instead just trying to appeal to the goofs who live on Twitter and boxing forums.

“In terms of Charlo, we were ready to make the fight. We were ready to do whatever it takes to get Jaime Munguia the fight that he wants. The fight that everyone has been asking for. Obviously, one thing about Charlo and the whole PBC stable is they hide behind Al Haymon. That’s the bottom line."

Oscar, of course, is the one who at the last minute decided that the Munguia vs Charlo fight needed to involve DAZN and scuttled a deal for Munguia to face Jermall Charlo. That is DAZN, the very same network that broke Oscar’s contract with Saul Alvarez and handed the biggest US-based fighter to Eddie Hearn.

Oscar has no intentions of making any fights off DAZN, something that was clear last year when talks were underway to make Tank vs Ryan only for Ryan to believe he had a shot at a Manny Pacquiao fight. Given that Ryan is signed to Golden Boy Promotions, there’s only one person who has the authority to entertain offers to present to Ryan’s team. That is also the very same Oscar who also declared this week he is receiving ten figure offers for his promotional company.

It is not Tank’s team that is hiding away from the competition. It is everyone else in the lightweight division that is creating their fiefdoms and demanding Tank succumb to their demands. Which is extremely amusing because when it comes to who the fans care about in this division, the answer is clearly Tank. There is no one else even in the running.

Tank is now at the point where he is generating revenue of over $25 million in the US alone. This not only puts him with the top earners of the sport, it puts him in with the top earners in all of entertainment. In two nights, Tank can generate enough revenue to place him in the top ten of concert revenue. And it takes most artists thirty nights to reach these levels.

If you want further evidence of Tank’s appeal, consider that the tickets for the upcoming Ryan Garcia vs Javier Fortuna fight in Los Angeles are less than half the amount that was being charged for Tank’s last fight in LA on a Sunday. For those of you that might not know the geography of the US, Tank is from Baltimore which is over twenty-six hundred miles away from LA. Ryan is from Los Alamitos which is twenty-three miles away.

Tank doesn’t need anybody, everybody else needs Tank.

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