By Ian S Palmer
Undefeated IBF Super Featherweight Champion Gervonta Davis of Baltimore travels to England this Saturday, May 20th to take in unbeaten Liam Walsh at the Copperbox Arena in London. The 12-round battle between the two southpaws can be seen live in the U.S. on Showtime at 6pm ET, while fans in the UK can catch the action on BoxNation. Davis won the title in his last bout in January when he stopped Jose Pedraza in the seventh round. Walsh last fought in October when he beat Andrey Klimov by a 12-round unanimous decision to become the mandatory challenger.
The 22-year-old Davis was a 2012 National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur and enters the fight with a perfect mark of 17-0 along with 16 Kos. He’s in the stable of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and has fought just 50 rounds since turning pro back in 2013. However, his performance against Pedraza was exceptional and he looks to be an excellent prospect. Of course, the reason for the low number of rounds Davis has boxed is due to his tremendous punching power as his current knockout ratio stands at a highly impressive 94 per cent.
He’s been the distance just once in his pro career and that was just six rounds back in 2014 against German Meraz, but he had his opponent down in both the third and fifth rounds. If there is a knock against Gervonta it’s his level op opposition up until meeting Pedraza as the only other opponent you may recognize on his resume is likely Cristobal Cruz, who Davis stopped in the third round in October of 2015. Davis stands 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a reach of 69 inches which makes him 1.5 inches shorter than Walsh.
The 30-year-old Walsh of Rochdale is a former British and Commonwealth Super Featherweight Champion and climbs into the ring with a perfect record of 21-0 along with 14 Kos. Walsh has won three of his last four fights by knockout and has above-average power with a current knockout ratio of 67 per cent. However, he’s stepping up in class once again against Davis. Walsh turned pro back in 2008 and has fought 136 rounds since then. He stands just over 5-feet-7-inches tall with an unlisted reach, so has a slight height advantage on the champion.
Walsh has good stamina and a lot of energy to burn with his relentless attack and is a good combination puncher. He’s not really considered a one-punch knockout artist as he typically stops opponents after an accumulation of punches. Walsh hasn’t really fought any world-class opponents tough other than Klimov with his best wins coming against the likes of Joe Murray, Gary Sykes, Kevin Hooper, Domenico Urbano and Scott Harrison.
This should be an exciting fight since both boxers possess speed and power. However, Davis is eight years younger and appears to be a potential star in the making unless his win over Pedroza was just a flash in the pan. This fight will let fans know if Davis is the real deal and at this point it makes sense to believe he is, so look for Davis to retain the title and it’ll be a surprise if he doesn’t do it by stoppage.