Gervonta Davis vs. Ricard Núñez will see two-time super featherweight champion and Baltimore native Gervonta "Tank" Davis become the first fighter from Baltimore in almost 80 years to make a homecoming title defense when he defends his WBA belt against mandatory challenger Ricardo "Científico" Núñez, live on SHOWTIME on Saturday, July 27 from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
On July 16, just days before the fight, Davis and his opponent took an international media conference call to discuss their impending clash, gathered with their trainers and managment teams.
Here's what they had to say:
"Mayweather Promotions is really thrilled to bring this very exciting event to where it all started for our two-time super featherweight champion, who really beat the odds to making it to where he is now and it's only really the beginning for Gervonta Davis.
We expect a star studded event, filled with so many hometown supporters on Friday night, and we know his friends across the nation will be locked in and tuned into an action packed fight, because we all know what "Tank" Davis brings to the table as he defends his super featherweight title against his mandatory challenger, Ricardo Nunez in this historic title event.
The iconic city of Baltimore has such a rich history of boxing. To open up this exciting event, we'll have none other than Ladarius Miller who will be taking on Jezzrel Corrales. In the core main event, we have two former world champions who will be in all action battle in Yuriorkis Gamboa taking on Rocky Martinez, which will be an outstanding bout.
And then that will lead right into the main event. Gervonta Davis will be defending his WBA Super Featherweight title against Ricardo Nunez. There will be several Mayweather Promotions fighters featured on the card including, Ronald Gavril, Richardson Hitchins, Dylan Price, Lionell Thompson, Kenny Robles, just to name a few."
"This is SHOWTIME's first ever event in Baltimore and Tank's seventh appearance on SHOWTIME. He's 6-0 in his prior six appearances, six stoppages, part of a 21-0, 20 KO record.
In the sport today, we throw around the word star quite a bit. Everyone's a potential star or a young star or a rising star, but that term truly applies to "Tank" Davis. Anyone who has seen him fight on television or in person sees the charisma, the skill, the fan base that he has built, and the excitement that he brings to the ring. He truly is one of the most exciting young stars in boxing today.
Ricardo Nunez may not be a household name here in the US, but I can tell you, he is a very aggressive fighter. He's got heavy hands. He mixes up his punches well. He's 21-2 with 19 KOs. He's won 10 straight fights. Fifteen of his last 16 wins have come by stoppage. It doesn't matter who the opponents are. When you stop 15 out of 16, that is saying something.
This is a match up that provides fireworks. It provides action, and a lot of excitement. We can't wait."
"I'm very happy to be here. Thanks to SHOWTIME. Thanks for giving me this great opportunity. It's the opportunity I've been waiting for. I've done a lot of sacrifice to get to this point, and that's why I'm here. I'm going to be fighting a great fighter. But the opportunity is now and I've got to take advantage of it."
Calvin Ford (Gervonta Davis' trainer)
"Thank you for this opportunity. I just wanted to say that I just can't wait till 27th to show the work that we had to put in. Baltimore is excited, very excited to have a world class championship fight here. It hasn't happened in so long and he's a Baltimore native that everyone should be looking forward to."
"I'm really focused and ready for a battle. We're two weeks away. I'm almost on weight and I'm excited for the homecoming. Camp has been great. I've been training with my brothers every day. We've been pushing each other. I'm just ready for Saturday night, July 27."
Q: How does it feel to have this hometown fight and so much of especially Baltimore, looking up to you?
G. Davis: Coming back home for this big fight is amazing actually. I've been fighting all over. I fought in London. I fought in LA, New York. It's time to bring the big one back home. I think now is the perfect time. I'm very excited, but focused as well. I'm more focused than I've ever been.
Q: How much do you know about Ricardo Nunez? Aside from him being your mandatory, he has a really good knockout rate, and he is coming into this fight on a pretty good win streak.
G. Davis: Yes. I know that he has been training hard. I've seen little clips of him during his sparring sessions. He has great power. I know he's going to be ready to fight. This is a big task in front of him, but also a big task for me. I'm just pushing for a great fight and to please the fans. I know July 27 is going to be an action packed fight.
Q: You talked about fighting in front of your hometown and how that's made you more focused. Do you feel more pressure to perform in front of a home audience?
G. Davis: I don't think it's more pressure, I'm just fighting in front of a bigger crowd. I am fighting at home so I will embrace the crowd. I want to give my fans a good show and get the result I want.
Q: In your opinion, are you the most docked super featherweight in the world at this point?
G. Davis: No, I don't believe I'm the most docked. I don't think I am, because I am the cash cow in 130 division. I believe it's a big risk, but you get paid a lot if you fight me. So that's why a lot of guys are calling me out. They know it's a big risk but they get paid better than taking a small risk and getting low money with someone else.
Q: I know that you have Ricardo Nunez in front of you, but are there other names?
G. Davis: Yes, but I don't want to call anyone's name right now. I'm going to wait until after Saturday night and Saturday night you will know who I want and how soon do I want them.
Q: Is your goal to unify the super featherweight division before moving up in weight?
G. Davis: Definitely want to unify 130. I always want to unify before I move up, but if 135 open for me, we can do that, but I'm really focused on unifying 130 right now.
Q: How much more do the fans have to wait to see Davis fight fighters in the super featherweight?
G. Davis: I haven't thought about the end of this year, but after this one is my mandatory, everybody has a mandatory, I see a lot of fighters having their mandatory. But I'm just a fighter. I'm fighting whoever they put in front of me. Just line them up, I knock them down.
There's a lot of great fighters out there, you know, from the 126, 130 to 135 that I can fight that I see as big fights. I'm just - I guess my team waiting on the right time, and I'm going to fight and I'm just fighting who they put in front of me.
Q: In closing, not to derail the call, but if any of you would like to offer any thoughts on the passing of Pernell Whitaker, I'd invite you to do that. And good luck to you, Tank, on your fight.
G. Davis: Thank you so much. Yes. I'd only say, sweet pea, one of the baddest.
C. Ford: And one of the guys that we've been studying on it too. Score scouting for, you know, when Tank was little, we always used to watch. And Tank used say, man, I used to do that, and then we show him Pernell Whitaker, he's like dang, somebody has done it before me. So having really a great guy like him pass is devastating.
Q: Do you feel any pressure every time you go out to sort of outdo yourself and outdo your last performance, especially now that you're going to be fighting in front of a home crowd?
G. Davis: Not outdo my last performance, but just to always give the fans a great performance. That's my job when I step in the ring, you know, not just trying to, you know, please the fan - Not just trying to go in there and just look out for - look for a knockout, but trying to get them excited, you know, get them what they pay that money for, you know, so.
I came up in an era when I was seeing a lot of fighters and they was fighting, you know, these like ducks coming up in the ranking, and they got a little sloppy in there, trying to knock the guy out and wound up getting clipped. So I really don't, you know, focus on knockout, but if it presents itself and the person don't belong in the ring with me, I definitely capitalize on that and take them out.
Q: Do you embrace the fact that you are being looked at as the underdog and has that added any motivation for you in this fight?
R. Nunez: Well, of course. Yes, I'm very motivated. This is personal for me. I do want beat Gervonta Davis. I have a great showing in Baltimore, although it's his hometown. I want to bring the championship back to Panama, not only for myself but for my family. We've prepared very well physically and also technically for this fight. So you're going to watch a great fight coming from me.
Q: Have you done anything in this camp to not only prepare for the fight, but also planning for the travel to the United States?
R. Nunez: Of course we have - this is for the championship belt. I've had no problems in training camp. So there's no excuses. We've matured as a boxer. My record states that. So everything has been worked on double for this great fight.
Q: Were you looking to take advantage of his aggressiveness with your power?
R. Nunez: Yes and no, I'm going to use the style that's best for me as a conditioned fighter. We're looking at trying to hit him, and when we hit him with the hardest punches we can, knowing how he's also a strong boxer. So that's our game plan. You'll see the style when we get there, that it's going to be the best one for my form of boxing.
Q: Do we foresee a potential showdown between Gamboa and Davis in the near future?
G. Davis: I'll take the call.
Q: Why will this fight be different than Davis' previous fights?
R. Nunez: It's going to be a great fight. We're going to - it's going to be a great, great show that we're going to have. If you look at our records, it's two rivals that the percentage of knockouts are high. I think he has one more knockout than me during his career. So that's why this fight is going to be action packed, because we're both knockout artists. So, that's why it will be an action-packed fight because we both are knockout artists.
Q: Is there any way that this fight goes the distance either way?
R. Nunez: No, I definitely don't think this is going to go the full rounds because as I said before, the high percentage we have of knockouts. So somebody is definitely going down.
Q: Gervonta, how important is it for you now that this is your second fight in 2019, for you to fight again at the end of the year and get those three fights in this year and remain as active as you want to be?
G. Davis: I'm not going to lie. I need to hurry to get off of this interview because I need to go running. He said he isn't going to go the distance, I'm scared. So I need to hurry up to get a good workout in. It's going down for real. I'm a little nervous now.
Q: How difficult is it for you to make 130 pounds?
G. Davis: It's not difficult. I'm starting to run actually, I'm close to weight now. I'll definitely be at 30 or 29 come weighing day. So I'm just ready.
Q: So how did the name "Tank" come about?
G. Davis: I had "Tank" since I started fighting.
Q: Five years from now, tell me where would you like to be in your career?
G. Davis: Probably a world champion, probably undisputed, trying to help other fighters to get to where I'm at. And a lovely father as well. Passing my knowledge on to the next such as Leonard, Stephen, Calvin have done to me. In a great position to be able to help and also be in a great position to help myself.
Q: Tell us what's going to happen next Saturday.
G. Davis: An action-packed fight. We're going to give the boxing world and the fight fans a great show. I'm training hard every day and I believe my opponent is training hard and he wants my spot, I can't let it go easy.
Q: How are you dealing with probably everybody in the entire city asking you for tickets? How are you able to just maintain your focus at the task at hand?
G. Davis: To be honest, I don't really have too many people who are asking me for tickets, not yet. But, me just coming home to fight on a big stage means a lot. I started in Baltimore, and I'm coming back home, I'm actually training at home too. So I always believe, I'll be able to reach a lot of kids that way and it will mean more than doing it. So that same kid that was coming up or just looking at me coming back home is - I've been in that position before. I always wanted to show love, and be able to give back like a couple of fighters there for me. I was never the fighter that they didn't show love. As Floyd, Lamont Peterson, Anthony Peterson, a lot of guys, even Danny Garcia. When Danny fought Zab, he called me up to spar him. So I always wanted to get back and just show them that anything is possible. I came from the same projects. I came from the same block. July the 27th is going to be historic. A lot of kids are going and their eyes are going to be open that night.
C. Ford: Actually, we had some kids came out to actually watch them work out. So, you know, the goal is to see the same thing that Tank did, that they can do it in the City of Baltimore. That's why in our press conference, we want the city to come out. This is a big thing. This is that big for Tank. Look at some of his tweets. He's talking about his brothers that are coming behind him. He's training with his brothers.
He's trying to show them and show the city that they can make a difference if they just put their dreams ahead of them and chase them. He's been wonderful and the people of Baltimore have too. Normally when a fighter stays home, it gets real hectic. There are a lot of media, but I appreciate them because they let us work and do our job. So he's been having it really good. They've been real respectable to him. It's been good for us being at home.
Q: Has there been any difference from having camp back home? Could you talk on if of Sweet Pea Whitaker had any impact on you as a youngster coming up?
G. Davis: Sweet Pea was definitely one of the guys that my coach made me sit down and watch. If I fall asleep, he'd tell me, wake up, finish watching this. So he was definitely one of the guys that was going out to the gym. I stay at coach Calvin's house in Washington. After we watch boxing, we'll go to the gym and train and try to fight his style or try to pick off things that he did. So he had a lot of impact on boxers I believe, period. Sorry for his loss. Condolences to his family.
C. Ford: I actually have a picture of Sweet Pea and Tank when he was in Jersey. They both took a picture together. Sweet Pea was my guy. He was definitely my guy. Tank didn't know what he was watching when he got in that ring as an amateur, he's going to be missed.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature former world champions Yuriorkis Gamboa and Roman "Rocky" Martínez battling in a 10-round lightweight attraction while lightweight contender Ladarius "Memphis" Miller meets former world champion Jezzrel "El Invisible" Corrales in a 10-round showdown.