Professional boxer Gervonta “Tank” Davis knocked out Puerto Rican boxer Jose Pedraza in the seventh round to take the IBF super featherweight championship on Jan. 14 at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Professional boxer Gervonta “Tank” Davis. (Courtesy of Gervonta Davis Instagram)
The win made the 22-year-old Baltimore native the youngest world champion currently in the pro boxing industry. Davis also became the first pro boxer out of Baltimore City to win a championship in 16 years—the last Baltimore native to win a boxing title before Davis was Hasim Rahman, who shocked the world by beating Hall of Fame boxer Lenox Lewis for the heavyweight championship in 2001.
Davis took to Twitter after the fight to share his excitement over winning the first world championship in his career.
“I’m a dog!” exclaimed Davis, who advanced his pro record to 17-0 with 16 knockouts.
“Baltimore, my people! I couldn’t have done it without y’all,” Davis tweeted. “I was not alone last night. I felt the love. Thank you!”
Davis had been promising his fans throughout the last few months that he would earn the title. He even made a prediction that he would knock out Pedraza in the eighth round. But it took him one less round than he thought to knock out the former champ.
“He caught me with good shots, and I took them and dished back,” Davis said during a post-fight interview with Showtime.
Davis has gained a reputation for knocking out his opponents early in fights, but he was patient in his fight against Pedraza, a 27-year-old experienced champion who was undefeated at 22-0 and held the IBF title for nearly two years. Pedraza tried to throw various shots at Davis to keep the younger, less experienced boxer confused. But Davis wasn’t bothered, out-boxing Pedraza in every round. Davis landed a huge body shot on Pedraza in the sixth round, which prompted his knockout attack in the seventh.
After the fight, Davis’ mentor and promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. told Showtime that Davis is “the future of boxing.”
“I’m proud of Gervonta,” Mayweather told reporters. “I didn’t talk to him at all during training camp because I wanted him to focus and do his best tonight, and that’s what he did.”