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Avila Perspective, Chap. 188: Tank and Rolly, IBF Convention and More

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 188: Tank and Rolly, IBF Convention and More

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    By David A. Avila

    Finally, they meet.

    Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Rolando “Rolly” Romero were weeks away from meeting in the prize ring last year when a sexual assault charge capsized their fight in Los Angeles.

    Charges were later dropped against Romero by Nevada prosecutors but fans were left wondering what might have happened if they had fought.

    Now, Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) and Romero (14-0, 12 KOs) have no restraints when they meet this Saturday, May 28, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. They will be fighting for a version of the WBA lightweight title. Showtime pay-per-view will televise.

    Their first Mayweather Promotions press conference in L.A. was one of those moments that stir boxing fans and created a cauldron of expectation that was cut short when Romero was forced to pull out. That opened up the door for Mexico’s Isaac Cruz and fans still saw a memorable clash that ended in a close victory for Davis.

    The Tank advanced forward and here we are with high expectations once again.

    On one side the extraordinarily strong Romero with his brute strength and innate power promises to end Davis’ undefeated streak.

    On the other side we have Tank who has built an empire of followers due to his ability to render foes unconscious like a 21st century version of Mike Tyson.

    Both seemingly detest each other and don’t veil their words.

    “Davis didn’t show up to sparring twice when we agreed to it, because he’s scared of me. He says I’m scared, but that guy is scared of me,” said Romero about two scheduled sparring sessions that Davis allegedly avoided years ago. “He’s going to get knocked out in one round. He’s been knocked down in the gym a bunch of times. He gets wobbled, knocked out and all sorts of hurt. I feel bad for him.”

    Davis shrugs at the comments.

    “I’m not emotional about what ‘Rolly’ is saying. At first I was, but he showed me that he’s just a hype job. He’s trying to hype himself up to get into the fight. It feels like he’s acting fake right now,” said Davis. “He’s never been in this position and you can tell.”

    The winner of the lightweight title match probably moves on toward an even more lucrative showdown against the winner between Australia’s George Kambosos and Las Vegas resident Devin Haney. Those two are set to clash next week on June 5 in Melbourne.

    Both Davis and Romero fight under the Mayweather Promotions banner and it’s only fitting that they finally meet to decide top dog.

    “Look at the resume of his fights. He’s faced weight-drained guys, U.K. fighters, 122 and 126 pounders, and guys past their prime,” said Romero. “Mario Barrios was weight- drained in a damn bathtub for eight hours straight. I also thought Isaac Cruz beat him up.”

    Davis is pragmatic about expectations.

    “It’s going to be a hell of a fight. I know that it’s going to be fireworks for sure. He’s coming with a lot of power and emotion and I’m coming with my power for sure. I just can’t wait. It’s a big night for boxing.”

    IBF

    On Tuesday the International Boxing Federation kicked off their 37th Annual Convention at Long Beach, California. Their last convention was held three years ago at Macao, but the pandemic prohibited further gatherings until now.

    “California has a long and rich history in boxing, and a robust boxing community, making Long Beach a great destination for us,” said Daryl Peoples IBF president.

    Numerous boxers of the past and present will be acknowledged for their contributions to the sport including George Kambosos Jr. who was voted the Jersey Joe Walcott Award for his performance against Teofimo Lopez a year ago.

    The Female Fighter of the Year award was given to Yokasta Valle of Costa Rica.

    On Friday, May 27, the closing ceremony for the Awards Banquet will be held at the Westin Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach on the Third Floor. Cocktails and dinner begin at 7 p.m. Masks are recommended.

    Anaheim Fights

    A Golden Boy Promotions card featuring Mexico’s Jaime Munguia versus England’s Jimmy Kelly goes on Saturday, June 11, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. DAZN will stream the fight card live.

    The last time Munguia appeared at the Honda Center, fight fans saw one of the more riveting fights of the year in 2021 when he fought veteran Gabe Rosado. The furious exchanges left people awestruck after 10 rounds.

    Now a middleweight, Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) is facing Kelly (26-2, 10 KOs) who fought for the WBO super welterweight world title and lost to Liam Smith back in 2015. Ironically, Munguia would win that same title in 2018 by knockout over Sadam Ali.

    A female flyweight match is also on tap and would feature two top fighters in the 112-pound division.

    Fights to Watch

    Sat. Showtime pay-per-view 6 p.m. Gervonta Davis (26-0) vs Rolando Romero (14-0); Erislandy Lara (28-3-3) vs Gary O’Sullivan (31-4); Jesus Ramos (18-0) vs Luke Santamaria (13-2-1).

    Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

  • #2
    Nice roundup

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