NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — If it was about business humiliation, Gervonta Davis might not be the better man this time around.
Rolando Romero can talk and do a lot going forward in his match on Saturday night, making fun of everything from the quality of Davis’ resume to the size of his head.
When it comes to merchandising punches, Davis insists that going unbeaten in Brooklyn in a hot mild title match would be a different story.
“I feel like it’s over. Now’s the time,” Davis said.
He has been doing this for a very long time not only at the highest level of boxing but in the sport as well. When it comes time to stop talking and start jabbing, he believes that will make a huge difference against a fighter who has only made half as many professional fights.
The fight heads the Showtime pay-per-view card and the first major boxing event since the pandemic began in Brooklyn more than two years ago. Barclays Center is where Davis (26-0, 24 KO) won her first title in 2017, and has drawn huge crowds from coast to coast, winning titles in three different weight classes.
At the age of 27, he has established himself as one of the biggest names in boxing, although Romero (14-0, 12 KO) argues that he did so by beating younger fighters, or carefully chosen opponents, those who lack their power.
Romero claimed for the bout throughout the buildup that he would beat Davis in round one. When asked what was happening on Saturday night, he did not hold back.
“The tank is flat on the ground,” he said.
Davis seems alternately annoyed and amused by the actions of 26-year-old Romero, who is on the verge of the biggest night of a boxing career that isn’t even 10 years old. He took up the sport only after switching from judo at the age of 17, giving Davis a significant advantage in the ring round.
“There are definitely different levels when you come to the sport of boxing,” Davis said. “There are people who play with boxing and there are people who have been doing it since they were kids. You have someone who’s been doing it since the age of 7 and someone who’s been doing it since the age of 17. Like, come on, bro. It’s time to show that I’m one of them.”
They were due to fight in December before Romero was taken off the card while authorities investigate sexual assault allegations against him. No charges were leveled.
Romero claims that they were the first to share the ring with him, but Davis backed the plan to spar with him twice. He said that Davis was intimidated by him and believed he saw more fear against Isaac Cruz, the replacement rival Davis fought in Los Angeles.
Davis won that fight by unanimous decision, ending a series of stoppages that began in 2015. Romero said Cruz hit Davis with ease and believed the Baltimore native would be target practice for his power punch.
“There’s no way I can miss,” Romero said. “He has a big donkey head.”
Both fighters are promoted by the Mayweather promotion, where Davis has long been a big star, considered a worthy successor to Floyd Mayweather. He has to make room for Romero – or get out of the way – if the challenger fights as well as he speaks.
Romero’s martial arts background has given him the reputation of an odd fighter in the way he punches, but Davis sees as just an underdeveloped one. Mastering the microphone helped Romero make it to the main event of the pay-per-view after just 14 fights, but experience isn’t needed to hype up the fight.
When the words stop and the punching starts it makes a big difference. Once this is done, Davis is confident that Romero will have nothing left to talk about.
“What we’re going to find out on Saturday night, is the person who’s cooking it, can they have it?” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said.
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