The drumroll for Baltimore's biggest boxing night in decades continued with a public workout session and press event July 18 at the Upton Boxing Center featuring WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis.
The undefeated 24-year old West Baltimore fighter, who carries the nickname "Tank", is scheduled to defend his title against Panama's Ricardo Nunez July 27 at Royal Farms Arena.
At the Upton Boxing Center, where Davis career began as a child under the tutelage of boxing coach Calvin Ford, Davis' fans were showing their fierce loyalty.
"I just feel like, a lot of love," Davis said in a TV interview at the gym. "Like, when I first started, and I was 7 years old."
For Davis, 21-0 with 20 KOs, it's the homecoming he's been longing for.
"Coming back home for this big fight is amazing actually," Davis said during a recent conference call that included Nunez. "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."
Nunez, 25, is 21-2 with 19 knockouts and the winner of 10 straight.
"I'm very motivated," Nunez said during the call. "This is personal for me. I do want beat Gervonta Davis. ... 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."
Of Nunez, Davis said, "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."
Davis' story of a difficult childhood and finding refuge in the boxing gym, followed by his rapid ascent as a professional fighter, is the type of script the boxing world relishes.
Davis also understands that he has become a fan favorite and that the role carries some responsibility.
"That's my job when I step in the ring ... not just trying to go in there and just look out for -- look for a knockout, but trying to get [the fans] excited," he said. "You know, get them what they pay that money for, you know."
Eventually, Davis clearly wants to unify the 130-pound title but he and his camp have been careful to take his career one step at a time, meaning one fight at a time.
"I'm really focused and ready for a battle," Davis said on the conference call. "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."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mayweather Productions