Gervonta Davis had a rollercoaster 2017 and Leonard Ellerbe said all of his experiences will make him a better fighter and person ahead of his upcoming WBA world title fight on April 21.
Ellerbe spoke to Fightful on Davis’ last year when he won the IBF super featherweight title and spending the majority of the year as champion will make him a better world champion. Davis is fighting Jesus Cuellar for the WBA super featherweight world title at the Barclays Center on a bout televised on Showtime.
“There were a lot of good things that happened and some not so good things to happen. With all of that combined, it was a great year, just learning, experience what to expect because it’s going to be bigger and better. I know for a fact he learned for a lot and he’ll be a better world champion. He’s really motivated,” Ellerbe said.
As a 22-year-old rising contender, Davis won his first world title on January 2017 and then had to travel to the United Kingdom to defend his title. After winning both of those fights, Davis was on top of boxing’s super featherweight division.
Of course the “not so good things” the Mayweather Promotions CEO was referring to was Davis missing weight the day before the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view. Davis was scheduled to defend his title against Francisco Fonseca but as a result of missing weight, he was stripped of the title.
Ellerbe said Davis having to learn from that time will only help better Davis’ career. Ellerbe said he and Davis wants to move past that and are looking forward to Davis challenging for the WBA title.
“I mean, let’s cut to the chase. He didn’t make weight. He accepted full responsibility as a young fighter and there were consequences behind that. He accepted that and he moved on from that. That’s what we want to do. That’s in the past about him making weight. The severity and the consequences, the whole impression that leaves on him being a world champion and trying to be a good example for this younger generation. He understands all of that. He’s very grateful for the opportunity to come back around [and fight for the WBA title] and he’s going to make the most of that opportunity. I think experiencing the downs last year will help him be a better world champion and more importantly, become a better young man,” Ellerbe said.
Regarding the fight between Davis and Cuellar, Ellerbe fully expects Davis to come out of the Barclays Center as a world champion, but knows that fighting Cuellar is no easy task.
“I know what Cuellar brings to the table and I know what ‘Tank’ brings to the table. I expect a great fight. I expect the fight to end in a knockout, that’s what I do expect. I know both sides are going to be ready. I think the fans are in for an exciting fight,” Ellerbe said.
Davis vs. Cuellar will be part of a tripleheader on Showtime that will also have an interim WBC middleweight title fight between Jermall Charlo and Hugo Centeno Jr. The main event of that television card is a 144-pound catchweight fight between former world champions Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas.
The full interview with Ellerbe can be seen in the video at the top of the page.