Baltimore native Gervonta “Tank” Davis remained undefeated after knocking out Costa Rican boxer Francisco Fonseca on Aug. 26 during the co-main event of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor’s pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas. Davis ended the fight with a left hook in the eighth round that Fonseca never got up from, which advanced Tank’s career record to 19-0 with 18 knockouts. 

Gervonta Davis hits Francisco Fonseca, of Costa Rica, in a boxing match Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

But the young 23-year-old boxing star’s fight didn’t go without a little controversy. Davis had to forfeit his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior lightweight title heading into the fight after failing to make the mandatory 130-pound weight limit for the division title. He officially weighed in at 132-pounds—2 pounds over weight.  He apologized to his fans the day before the fight via Twitter.

“I’m young, I’m growing,” Davis tweeted. “I had a chance to make the weight. I knew I couldn’t make it and that’s that. I will have a belt, again. My fans and supporters, I apologize and I will make it up.”

Pundits have since criticized Davis for not taking the fight against Fonseca seriously, which typically leads to a boxer not making weight. And Davis’ performance against Fonseca Saturday night might have validated their criticism. 

Davis did a lot of taunting and fooling around in the ring against Fonseca. He often danced around his opponent with his hands down, and even went periods of time with his hands completely behind his back, allowing Fonseca free shots to his face. The taunting rubbed the crowd the wrong way, as they booed him throughout the fight. 

Beyond taunting, Davis didn’t box as sharply against Fonseca as he usually does. He threw nothing but wild hooks for a majority of the fight, something he had never done before. Eventually, Davis put Fonseca down with a punishing body blow, followed by a left hook in the eighth round, but even that was controversial as the left hook punch appeared to hit Fonseca in the back of the head, which is illegal. The crowd continued booing Davis after he was deemed the victor of the fight. 

It was a bizarre performance for Davis, who hadn’t done that much showboating or fought as sloppy in the ring in his past fights. But maybe he felt he didn’t need his A-game to manhandle Fonseca, who appeared significantly smaller than Davis. 

With his struggles to avoid exceeding the 130 pound weight limitation for this fight, Davis may have simply outgrown the junior lightweight division. He may end up moving up to the 135-pound lightweight division. Either way, he told Twitter he plans on becoming a champion again very soon. 

“A lot been going on leading up to the fight and only me and my team knows,” Davis said.  “I got the job done on a bad night, now I’m moving on. I want my belt back.”

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor