What boxing opponents couldn’t accomplish, a few too many calories apparently did – deny Baltimore boxer Gervonta Davis his championship belt.
Davis is scheduled to fight the top undercard bout of the the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor boxing spectacle in Las Vegas Aug. 26. In the process, the 22-year old was also supposed to be defending his 130-pound International Boxing Federation (IBF) title against Francisco Fonseca of Costa Rica.
Davis will still fight Fonseca at the T-Mobile Arena but there will be no title defense. Davis missed weight the day before the fight, tipping the scales at 132 pounds, two pounds too heavy. Since Fonseca made weight at 130 pounds, if the Costa Rican pulls off an upset, he will get the title. If Davis wins, the title will remain vacant.
Davis apologized with
this mea culpa
on Twitter: "I'm young, I'm growing. I had a chance to make the weight I knew I couldn't make it & that's that. I will have a belt again."
Some fans were forgiving, others not so much.
One Davis supporter wrote on Twitter, "You all good. Tomorrow you'll show the world."
However, more typical reactions on Twitter were critical, such as:
"You knew you couldn't make it but made the fight? That is disrespectful to EVERYONE!! The sport, opponent, fans, IBF. EVERYONE!!!"
And, "Eat less , Run more if it's getting hard be professional make weight and move up."
Davis has talked about moving up in weight class and this embarrassing failure on a big stage might just force the decision.
Weight has been a chronic problem for Davis. He won the 130-pound title in January against Jose Pedraza in Brooklyn but before that fight, Davis slipped in his nutritional regimen and with three to four weeks left before weigh-in, he was hovering at about 144 pounds -- 14 pounds over the magic number.
He did make weight, though, and knocked out Pedraza in the seventh round.
Davis, now 18-0 with 17 knockouts, defended his title in London in May against Englishman Liam Walsh and Mayweather quickly said he’d be bringing Davis along for the ride should there be a fight against McGregor.
As many fans know, Mayweather is putting his 49-0 career record on the line against mixed martial arts fighter McGregor in a super-fight that will earn each fighter tens of millions of dollars.
Although Fonseca is undefeated at 19-0-1, he has never fought in the United States and certainly hasn't fought anyone near the caliber of Davis. For Davis, this pay-per-view opportunity in front of millions of viewers was chance to showcase his skill.
It still may turn out that way, but win, lose or draw, the young Baltimore boxer won’t be wearing a championship belt at the end.