Baltimore-native and two-time super featherweight world champion Gervonta “Tank’ Davis greeted fans in his hometown Wednesday at an open to the public press conference at the Mondawmin Mall as he previewed his upcoming title defense against Ricardo Núñez Saturday, July 27 live on SHOWTIME from Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.
Davis, who was joined at Wednesday’s event by Baltimore MayorBernard C. “Jack” Young, returns to defend his title in front of a hometown crowd and will be the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in nearly 80 years. Davis will be making the second defense of his WBA Super Featherweight World Championship.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or at the Royal Farms Box Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Wednesday from the Mondawmin Mall Center Court in Baltimore:
“I want to thank the whole city of Baltimore for backing me. Not just for this fight, but I believe that Baltimore’s been backing me for a long time. I used to come up to this mall a lot, and just to have a press conference here means a lot to me.
“I’m coming home to fight in front of my people. Everyone showed out in Brooklyn when I fought for my first world title, and they did it again the second time I won a title there. So I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a huge sold out event.
“I can’t wait to put on a great show for everybody in my city. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I have and I’m going to take full advantage of it.
“I definitely feel like a role model whether I like it or not. I’m the main one that made it out of the gym, other than the people I came up with. The people I came up with are dead. They all got killed. The two people that I look up to in the gym, just got killed like two weeks ago. It’s overwhelming, but then again I’m strong and I hold my own and I’m staying strong.
“I never thought of me actually fighting in Baltimore city, fighting in a big arena like this. I’ve always watched it on TV, people coming back to their home town to fight. I’m the type of person that I always adapt to the place I’m in at the moment.
“I’m training every day. Twice a day. Even on Saturdays and Sundays. I’m working out trying to stay sharp. You have to work harder. There are so many people that are coming for you, I’ve always had that mindset that you’re going to have to kill me to beat me. I beat a lot of people mentally first and I’ve always been that type of person since I was young.
“I know that my opponent only lost twice and he’s got good power. I actually watched him running and sparing the other day too. He has good power and speed. Hopefully we will put on a great show July 27.
“I remember when Aquille Carr use to play basketball here they called him the ‘Crimestopper’ because it was like they shut down the whole city to watch him. You can call me the ‘Crimestopper’ July 27 because everyone’s going to be there.”
BALTIMORE MAYOR BERNARD C. “JACK” YOUNG
“I’m very excited for this championship fight next month, both as the Mayor of this city and as a fan of the sweet science. This is huge for this city and for a generation of people who will be able experience this type of event in their hometown.
“I want to thank Gervonta and Leonard Ellerbe and their team for making this dream a reality. Gervonta will be the first world champion from Baltimore to make a homecoming defense in almost 80 years and that is incredible for this city. Our great city has produced eight world champions and I’m excited that their legacy lives on with Gervonta.
“Make sure you get those tickets because it’s going to be a sell out and you don’t want to be left out. Come out and support our own world champion July 27 at Royal Farms Arena.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“Everyone knows I’m a very emotional coach, and I just want to say, Baltimore let’s put on a show. The world has a chance to look at this city. We have had great champions here and we’re not finished. There’s a lot coming behind Gervonta Davis. He’s opening up the door for everyone to do their thing.
“On July 27, let’s show the world that we can put on a world class show. Everyone come out and support this man. We have so much raw talent in this city it’s unreal. I’m witnessing it. I love you Baltimore, we’re going to show the world how we do it here.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Mayweather Promotions is excited to bring this event to an iconic city. We’re thrilled to bring you Baltimore’s own two-time world champion, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. He’s fought overseas, he’s fought opponent’s in their hometowns, and the results have all been the same. Win after win. That’s all he knows how to do.
“Now it’s time for Gervonta to come back home and bring you a very exciting fight on July 27. He’ll be defending his super featherweight title on a great night of boxing. Gervonta has quickly become one of the biggest rising stars in the entire sport and we’re proud that he’s a part of Mayweather Promotions.
“I promise you that Gervonta Davis will eventually become the biggest star in the entire sport. You want to get your tickets now if you haven’t got them, because it’s going to be a sold out, star-studded event. This is a must-see fight.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“Together, SHOWTIME and Mayweather Promotions have done the biggest events that sports have ever seen. From Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Mayweather vs. McGregor, and now we have a new project in this young man, Gervonta Davis.
“I remember I first heard Gervonta’s name in 2014. Floyd Mayweather called me during his fight week and he asked me, ‘how many times have I ever called you about a fighter?’ I said ‘none’, and he told me to remember the name Gervonta Davis. I’m proud to be standing here today, five years later, and bringing ‘Tank’ home to Baltimore.
“This is SHOWTIME’s first event ever in the city of Baltimore. As your Mayor has noted, Baltimore has a great history in boxing, going back to the very first African American world champion in the sport. There’s a lot of boxing history in Baltimore here, but not a lot lately. That is about to change.
“Gervonta is America’s youngest world champion and one of the most exciting fighters in boxing. He’ll be appearing on SHOWTIME for the seventh time. The first six times have delivered six knockouts, and that’s why we love Gervonta Davis. It’s going to be a historic and exciting night in Baltimore on July 27.”