Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Gervonta Davis cracks top 10 with another sensational performance

Already a legitimate star thanks packed arenas and a pair of headlining pay-per-view roles, Gervonta “Tank” Davis is finally starting to get the critical respect as a complete fighter that sometimes gets lost in his lengthy highlight reel of knockouts.  

Davis, who entered his June return as the WBA junior lightweight champion and the WBA regular titleholder at 135 pounds, added a secondary title at 140 pounds when he moved up two weight divisions to outduel and finish unbeaten Mario Barrios.  

The fight proved to be the perfect showcase of Davis’ sublime talent at age 26 thanks to Barrios providing such stubborn opposition. Davis made a number of key mid-fight adjustments, including disarming Barrios of his jab in Round 5, while showcasing his underrated ring IQ in a performance worthy of pound-for-pound validation as the much smaller man.  

Where exactly Davis goes next across a trio of divisions remains uncertain. But his recent performances, which include moving down in weight to brutally knock out four-division champion Leo Santa Cruz last October, make it hard for critics to lean on questions about Davis’ matchmaking decisions as reasons for not recognizing just how talented and exciting he really is.  

Davis has heart, a strong chin and an efficient ability to set up his power shots while adapting to his opponent’s game plan that isn’t always evident while watching him feast on smaller competition en route to a knockout. Given the effects of his power, it may take Davis continuing to fight larger opponents like he did against Barrios for the full aspect of his game to regularly be on display. 

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One thing Davis should have no trouble with is consistently drawing eyes to his future fights thanks to his fighting mentality as a natural finisher who is humble between the ropes in ways that belie his often troubled behavior outside the ring.  

Davis appears to have a one-up commercially on his young contemporaries in and around the lightweight division, including Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez Jr. And given boxing’s broken foundation from the standpoint of the network and promotional divide, it’s unlikely those fights come to fruition in the near future.  

While Davis appears on this list because of what he has been able to do with the opponents available to him, it will likely take him figuring out a way to fight the best of his era within his preferred division in order to climb any higher towards contention for the top spot.

Pound-for-Pound Rankings

Dropped out: Juan Francisco Estrada
Honorable mention: Estrada, Artur Beterbiev, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Roman Gonzalez

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