Boxing: Gervonta Davis KOs Frank Martin To Retain Lightweight Championship

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis returned to the ring after more than a year away with a dominating win over Frank Martin, knocking him out in the eighth round on Saturday night. With the victory, Davis retained the WBA lightweight championship and improved his record to 30-0 with 28 knockouts.

Gervonta Davis poses on the scale
Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo

That bout between the two 29-year-olds headliners was the 100th championship fight night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. To mark the occasion there were four title fights which took place, including the one for the interim WBC light heavyweight championship that David Benavidez won via unanimous decision.

Benavidez, who is now 29-0, was making a move up from super middleweight to light heavyweight and seemed more than comfortable doing so. He defeated Las Vegas resident Oleksandr Gvozdyk by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109. The Ukraine native who trains in California now has a record of 20-2, after taking only the second defeat in his career.

In the super lightweight division, Alberto Puello (23-0) of the Dominican Republic won the WBC interim title with a split decision over Gary Russell from Maryland. Two judges scored the fight to Puello 115-112 and 114-113, while the other judge scored the fight for Russell 118-109.

Dominican middleweight champion Carlos Adames (24-1) was able to retain his WBC belt via unanimous decision over Terrell Gausha (24-4-1) of Encino, California. Two judges scored the fight 118-110 for the champ and the other had it 119-109 for the challenger.

A number of celebrities came out to watch the fights, including a number of sporting superstars. Names of popular athletes who attended include Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels, Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard and Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan.

Davis Vs Martin Fight Recap

Davis started the fight on the backfoot as Martin won two of the first three rounds to get off to an early lead. With 421 days since his last fight, Tank had some real rust coming in but a sharp right to his head in the third seemed to wake him up. 

From there Davis took over the fight, repeatedly pushing Martin to the ropes and corners where he went to work. Tank started landing extremely hard shots to Martin’s head and body which took its toll, visibly slowing down the Indianapolis resident. Martin may still have been ahead on the scorecards but Davis’ power punches seemed like they would inevitably lead to a knockout.

When Round 8 came along, Martin actually found a second wind with a couple of decent combinations. It was just then that Tank finished off his opponent, landing a vicious left-handed uppercut followed by a fight-ending left to send Martin to the canvas. The crowd of 13,239 who were largely in support of Davis sprung to its feet and Martin sat down for a couple minutes to find his balance.

In the end, Tank’s power was just too much for Martin who suffered the first loss in his career. Davis will now look for his next opponent, which may unleash him into a new weight class.

Who’s Next For Tank?

There are a number of options that Davis could take in his next fight. Let’s take a look at some of the more likely boxers he could face off against.

Shakur Stevenson

After the Tank’s victory, Stevenson was quick to take to X building hype over a possible clash with the champ. The two have been consistently calling each other out on social media but Davis has seemingly been avoiding the undefeated Stevenson in the ring.

Stevenson will defend his WBC lightweight title against Artem Harutyunyan on July 6 in Newark. A win may put Stevenson in a position where Tank cannot avoid the matchup.

Teofimo Lopez

Lopez has moved up to 140 pounds, so Davis will likely need to follow suit for this fight to happen. This isn’t that much of a stretch, as two of Tank’s rivals, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, made the change already. 

Lopez could be a tough matchup for Davis, as he poses the threat of real power and punch accuracy which Davis may not have found in lower weight classes. Lopez is scheduled to defend his WBO super lightweight title on June 29 against Steve Claggett.