Furor at Gervonta Davis 140 “title” PPV despite Josh Taylor “undisputed”

Gervonta Davis Mario Barrios

Esther Lin

Confusion reigns once again this week as one of the biggest draws in boxing, Gervonta Davis, apparently aims to become a three-weight world champion.

Davis faces Mario Barrios for the secondary version of the super-lightweight title this weekend on Pay Per View. The fight gets billed as a championship contest.

But Floyd Mayweather’s right-hand man Leonard Ellerbe, who promotes Davis, is forced to fend off questions. They come mainly from the other side of the pond.

They’re puzzled as to how his man is fighting for a title.

Enter Josh Taylor. The Scot is the undisputed belt-holder at 140 pounds. Therefore, fans are questioning how Davis is participating in a title clash.

It seems a good call.

If Taylor gets noted as the one and only “undisputed” king, there can be no other rulers at the weight class. However, we are talking about the World Boxing Association.

At present, the WBA and the WBC take continued flak regarding the number of straps in circulation. For sure, though, one thing is that the vast majority of people within the sport do not recognize the WBA’s secondary version.

This scenario becomes a problem, and one Ellerbe seems to be at a loss to explain on social media.

In response to one fan labeling the Davis vs. Barrios title “fake,” Ellerbe cited Canelo’s fight for his first belt at super-middleweight. The Mexican took recognition as a three-weight champion following victory in the first round.

“Was it fake when Canelo had it or now? We will have a packed sold out arena, and fans tuned in around the world to see the most exciting fighter in the world. Is that fake?” – questioned Ellerbe.

There does seem to be one rule for some and another rule for others, though.

Gervonta Davis Mario Barrios

GERVONTA DAVIS TWO-TIME

Personally, WBN doesn’t even recognize the WBA’s “super” title belt either. Such is the decision-making by the organization over rankings and sanctioning under scrutiny.

Currently, Davis is a “two-weight world title-holder” and aiming for that career-defining third. However, if you look closer, “Tank” is a two-time super-featherweight champion on paper.

Winning the IBF title at 126 was a bonafide achievement, backed up by another when defeating Leo Santa Cruz – the recognized ruler at the limit.

But once Vasily Lomachenko became unified at lightweight, he was instantly elevated to “super” champion in the WBA’s unfathomable rules. This situation saw Santa Cruz drop to “regular” champion only.

Therefore, Davis winning the lightweight version was a secondary triumph, even more so when Teofimo Lopez defeated Lomachenko to become undisputed.

Through no fault of his own, Gervonta Davis is yet to win world titles in two weight divisions, despite competing in a fourth against Barrios on Saturday night.

The whole scenario is a clear indication that a clean-up operation has to happen, and the sooner that happens for the good of the sport – the better.

CHAMPIONS

140 – Josh Taylor

135 – Teofimo Lopez / Devin Haney

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.