Gervonta Davis is officially on the clock.
The unbeaten rising superstar has been ordered by the World Boxing Association (WBA) to provide clarification as to which title he plans to keep moving forward. Baltimore’s Davis (25-0, 24KOs) currently holds the WBA “Super” title at junior lightweight, along with the WBA “World” titles at lightweight and junior welterweight—the latter two where a WBA “Super” champion currently exists.
The matter has been addressed Friday via official letter—a copy of which has been obtained by BoxingScene.com—with a one-week deadline to clarify at which weight he plans to campaign and defend a WBA title.
“On behalf of all the Directorate of the World Boxing Association we would like to let you know how proud we are [to] have such a great champion like you in our boxing family for more than [three] years,” Carlos Chavez, chairman of the WBA Championship Committee, noted to Davis. “You first conquer the Super Featherweight (130 lbs.) title on April 21, 2018; then on December 28, 2019 you won the vacant Lightweight (135 lbs.) title; and on June 26, 2021 you made stepped forward and conquered the WBA Super Lightweight (140 lbs.) title, in every title fight you have featured you gave a demonstration of what you are made of.
“For the WBA titles and the awards continue to be given to the champions and continue to be attractive, to keep giving equal opportunities to future champions, we would like you to inform us by Friday August 27, 2021, which title you own at present – Super Featherweight or Lightweight or Super Lightweight- you will keep and defend from now.”
Davis first claimed the WBA “Super” 130-pound title in a knockout win over Jesus Cuellar in April 2018, less than a year after losing his IBF junior lightweight title. Two successful defenses followed before agreeing to vacate the title. The move came two-fold—one, to temporarily contend for a lightweight title, winning the WBA “World” belt at the weight following a twelfth-round knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa in Dec. 2019 in front of a sold-out crowd at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The fight came one month after Leo Santa Cruz nabbed the WBA “Super” junior lightweight title left behind by Davis, following a Nov. 2019 twelve-round decision win over Miguel Flores.
Davis reclaimed his old belt at 130-pounds following an emphatic sixth-round knockout of Santa Cruz in their October 2020 Showtime Pay-Per-View headliner at Alamodome in San Antonio. The event confirmed Davis’ status as a true box-office draw, a trend that already came to light following three successful Showtime main events in three different cities in 2019.
Permitted to retain both alphabet titles, Davis added a belt at a third weight following an eleventh-round stoppage of Mario Barrios to win the WBA “World” junior welterweight title on June 26 back at State Farm Arena.
Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12KOs) currently holds the WBA “Super” title along with the IBF/WBO belts at lightweight , while Josh Taylor (18-0, 13KOs) enjoys undisputed championship status at junior welterweight to include his recognized WBA “Super” title reign. Davis is the recognized WBA champ at junior lightweight, where “World” title holder Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20KOs) and interim beltholder Chris Colbert were recently ordered to begin negotiations for a title consolidation clash.
The three-division title status already figured to come on borrowed time. There is a greater urgency for clarification in the wake of the WBA’s efforts to reduce its number of titlists, a campaign which was motivated earlier this month following a documented conversation with the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
Davis has repeatedly suggested plans of a ring return tentatively slated for October or at least sometime in the fourth quarter. Neither an opponent nor weight division has come with the teased time frame, though the WBA now demands an answer to at least the title he next plans to defend.
“Should you not inform us in the given period,” noted Chavez, “… this committee will enforce Rule C. 9—Single Title: “An Association Champion can have only one world title in one division at the same time. If a World Champion wishes to fight for a title in another division, he must apply in writing to the Championships Committee for approval and must present a signed document undertaking that, in the event he wins the fight and obtains the other title, within five (5) days of the fight he will choose the title he wishes to retain and relinquish the other title. Failure to comply with any of these provisions is sufficient cause for the Championships Committee to withdraw recognition from him of either title or both titles.
“In case we do not receive any information from you by Friday August 27, 2021 5 p.m. ET, the WBA championships committee will take the corresponding actions according to our rules and regulations.”
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