Leonard Ellerbe is pushing for Gervonta Davis versus Keith Thurman
In his last at bat, Regular WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (25-0, 24 KO’s) stepped up in weight. He did so to challenge Regular WBA super lightweight champion Mario Barrios and would go on to win that bout by eleventh round knockout. The victory was impressive due to all the physical disadvantages that Tank suffered. Yet, if it was up to Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather Promotions CEO, the jumps in weight would not be over. In fact, Ellerbe is actively endorsing a match between Davis and former welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s).
Thurman has been out of action since his July 20, 2019 defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. At one point in time, Thurman was widely viewed as the cream of the welterweight crop. Yet, that was before an injury and a large chunk of time hidden away from the sport essentially erased his importance in the division. When Thurman returned to the sport he was beaten by Manny Pacquiao, lost his WBA strap and was cast largely back into irrelevance. Even now his name has been marooned on the extreme periphery of serious welterweight conversations.
There is no question that Thurman versus Davis is a wildly out-of-left-field fantasy match. That much goes without saying, but it doesn’t mean that it is not an interesting proposition. When Tank flattened Barrios he captured a world title in a third weight class. Despite the notable accomplishment, Davis still receives a great deal of criticism from fans and the media alike. This is due to the Baltimore native’s penchant for securing ‘regular’ titles and not the highest belt available.
There is also the gripe that he doesn’t fight fellow champions like WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. Provided that Davis versus Thurman is made, there is no way to question the difficulty of that endeavor. While One Time is no longer a champion, he is still a very live dog and dangerous opponent in the ring. So even though he would not walk away with a belt in victory, the stock of the multidivisional champion would rise a great deal.
THE FLIP SIDE
For Thurman however, this bout seems to be something of a catch-22. If they signed it, there is no doubt that this would receive massive attention and coverage. Without question they would try to make this a pay-per-view extravaganza. Therefore the notoriety, and no doubt substantial payday, would be great incentives for both boxers. Yet, if Thurman won the bout he would be ridiculed for beating up a smaller man rather than praised for overwhelming a dangerous adversary.
Even worse, if One Time lost he might as well retire because his already deathly anemic credibility would no doubt flat-line. Bearing this in mind, it would be wise if Thurman treads cautiously when addressing this potential prizefight. At the same time though, not too many of the top welterweights are talking about Thurman. IBF and WBC 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr has all but vowed never to face Thurman. WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has not shown a desire to face anyone. At times, WBA super 147-pound champion Yordenis Ugas has shown interest in a bout with Thurman.
With that being said, there is no pressing reason to believe this would happen next. If it did then fighting for a title obviously trumps fighting a smaller man simply to benefit off the hype of the surrounding media circus. Yet, if that fight did not miraculously happen next, One Time might just be spending a little time pondering this oddity of a showdown.
By: Bakari Simpson