Gervonta Davis Vacates WBA Super Featherweight Title
Gervonta Davis has, somewhat unsurprisingly, vacated his WBA super featherweight title and looking to move up in weight to lightweight in order to become a two-division titlist. This change has a profound impact on both the super featherweight and lightweight divisions, both in the short and long term.
Firstly, as Davis was the WBA's "Super" champion and Andrew Cancio held the "Regular" title, Cancio now stands as the sole WBA world champion at 130 pounds. It is poetic justice in the sense that Cancio should have been the true “Super” champion in the first place if one were to look at the lineage of Cancio’s title which traces all the way to Takashi Uchiyama a few years ago. Uchiyama was beaten by Jezreel Corrales and Corrales lost the belt at the scales in 2017 and then Alberto Machado won the belt by knocking out Corrales. Cancio then beat Machado this past February to become the new champion. Davis’ version of the title was simply made in April 2018 when he defeated Jesus Cuellar, a former featherweight champion who was moving up in weight coming from a loss in his last fight prior to facing Davis.
Secondly, Davis is now the top contender ranked by the WBA for one of the three world titles being held by unified titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko. A fight between Lomachenko and Davis had been one that many clamored for in the past. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe previously told Fightful he is confident that Davis can beat Lomachenko.
But if we're speaking frankly, the idea that a Lomachenko vs. Davis superfight will be made anytime soon is borderline ludicrous, given the obstacles in play. There's the matter of Lomachenko effectively having the next 6-9 months already mapped out for him as he tries to win the IBF title, the last belt before he is officially declared the undisputed champion at 135 pounds. Lomachenko just finished up a fight against Luke Campbell to become the new WBC champion and the current plan in place is to have him possibly wait until IBF champion Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez have their fight later this year. Lomachenko would then face the Commey vs. Lopez winner in what could be a pay-per-view showdown in 2020 for all four belts. Yet, if it takes too long for the Lomachenko vs. Commey-Lopez winner to be made, Lomachenko could face a mandatory challenger in the interim.
On September 13, Devin Haney and Zaur Abdullaev will fight for the interim WBC lightweight title at Madison Square Garden. The fight serves as a final eliminator for Lomachenko’s WBC title and, assuming Haney wins, Haney and promoter Eddie Hearn told Fightful they will aggressively push for the WBC to order a fight against Lomachenko within the next six months. Needless to say, Lomachenko will be too busy to fight Davis.
But back to Davis, he has had issues in the past trying to make weight at super featherweight. In 2017, right before a title defense against Francisco Fonseca that took place on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view event, Davis missed weight and was stripped of his IBF title. He nearly missed weight again earlier this year when it took him three tries to get under the 130-pound limit before a WBA title defense against Hugo Ruiz in February.
In his most recent fight, Davis stopped mandatory challenger Ricardo Nunez in July in front of Davis' hometown fans of Baltimore. Prior to that fight, Mayweather Promotions sought to give Davis a unification bout in the fall, but Ellerbe told Fightful that there will still be big fights for Davis if he doesn't get that unification.
Finding out what Davis’ first fight at lightweight may not be too hard to figure out. Looking at the WBA rankings, Yuriorkis Gamboa is ranked No. 2 behind Davis and a fight between the two had been nearly secured before Davis was ordered by the sanctioning body to fight Nunez. The WBA technically has a vacant “Regular” lightweight title and as Showtime and Mayweather Promotions were building up to a Davis vs. Gamboa fight, the logical next step would be for that fight to be made for the vacant “Regular” title, either in late fall or early winter.
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