Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta Davis delivered the best one-liner of a pre-fight news conference following several pronouncements by challenger Ricardo Nunez that he will win their July 27 title fight by knockout.
After letting the bravado pass at first, Davis -- when pressed for a response -- simply said with a smile: "I think he's a got a little too much dip on his chip."
The quip drew a round of laughter during the news conference at the Baltimore Convention Center July 25.
However, at Royal Farms Arena July 27, it'll be all business as Davis, 24, and Nunez, 25, meet for the WBA super featherweight title in what is billed as a homecoming for Davis, who rose in the sport from the tough streets of West Baltimore while training at the Upton Boxing Center.
The bout will be televised on Showtime starting with some of the undercard fights at 9 p.m.
As the youngest U.S.-born fighter to currently hold a world title, Davis is 21-0 with 20 knockouts. Nunez, from Panama, is 21-2 with 19 knockouts, and has won his last 10 fights. However, Nunez' boxing career has been spent mostly in Panama and this will be his first bout in the United States.
"I have a good knockout ratio so that's why I'm confident in knocking Davis out," Nunez said July 25, drawing oohs from the audience.
"Although [Davis is] the champion, I'm here to take the victory." Nunez continued. "Like I said, it's my first time in the United States but I'm here to win."
Davis was unfazed and chalked up Nunez' bravado to routine pre-fight chatter saying there were times he expressed similar confidence going into a bout.
"He's a fighter so I'm not mad about it," Davis said. "I'm a fighter so I feel the same way."
Although Davis didn't say so in explicit terms, he hinted that Nunez, fighting locally most of his career, is in for an awakening when he climbs into the ring with an opponent who has fought internationally and has trained at boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s gym in Las Vegas.
"He doesn't know how good I am until he gets in the ring with me, or how hard I hit," Davis said. "I think he thinks it's a game right now. He's a fighter so he feels confident. He'll see Saturday night."
As the biggest prizefight in Baltimore's recent history approaches, Davis reflected on the mantle he wears as a local sports hero.
"I've got the whole city on my back so I got to show up Saturday night," Davis said.
Davis also remarked on two recent ring tragedies.
Argentina's Hugo Santillan and Russia's Maxim Dadashev died as a result of injuries suffered in two separate fights. Dadashev suffered his injury in a loss to Subriel Matias in a bout July 19 at a Maryland casino, the MGM Grand in Oxon Hill, Md. The fighter collapsed after the fight, and was taken to a hospital where he died four days later.
Davis said he heard about the boxer's death as he was leaving his own gym.
"I believe that the fighters know [the risk]," Davis said. "The people who aren't actually fighting may not understand, [but] we're putting our life on the line. That was shocking for me. ... rest in peace to Max and Hugo."
"It lets you know how serious boxing is, it's not a game," Davis added.
On the undercard is a fight featuring a possible future Davis opponent, assuming both fighters win July 27 -- Cuban Yuriokis Gamboa.
Gamboa, 37, faces another veteran, Puerto Rico's Rocky Martinez, 31. Gamboa (29-2) formerly held the featherweight title and Martinez (30-3-3) held the belt in the junior lightweight division.
Gamboa won his first 23 fights and was a four-time Cuban national champion. More recently, he's lost two of his last eight. Still, he wants a crack at Davis, assuming each wins July 27.
Meanwhile, Davis appeared loose and upbeat just two days before his fight with Nunez.
"I really don't want to rush the moment. I want to enjoy the moment," Davis said. "So I'm soaking it all in. I'm excited."
Photo Credit: Bill Ordine/PressBox