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‘Tank’ Has An Opponent For His Return

The lower weight classes in boxing have a fascinating pool of stars and Gervonta Davis might be the brightest of the group.

Davis will return to the ring on June 15 to defend his WBA lightweight title against Frank Martin. The fight will take place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on a Premier Boxing Champions card streamed on Amazon Prime.

The co-main event will feature David Benavidez facing Alexandr Gvozdyk in the former’s debut at light heavyweight.

Davis, 29, last fought in April 2023, when he scored a seventh-round KO defeat over Ryan Garcia. Davis’s speed and power make him one of the best boxers in the world, and his 29-0 record with 27 KOs validates his spot among the best in the sport.

Like Davis, Martin, 29, is undefeated at 18-0 with 12 KOs. His last fight saw him defeat Artem Harutyunyan in July 2023. Martin was supposed to fight Shakur Stevenson late in 2023, but the deal fell through, and the latter wound up fighting Edwin De Los Santos in November.

Stevenson won that fight by unanimous decision.

Martin will face a more powerful puncher but a star with one of the largest followings, Davis. The fight with Davis offers Martin a bigger opportunity.

Davis’ absence from the ring has been marked by persistent legal trouble. Davis has dealt with charges for a hit-and-run accident and domestic violence. The charges for the latter were dropped in May 2023.

There will be inevitable questions about ring rust as Davis’ return nears. The near-14-month layoff will be the longest of Davis’ career, and while Martin isn’t known as the biggest puncher, he is considered an upper-echelon fighter in the weight region.

Martin isn’t Devin Haney, Stevenson, or Teofimo Lopez, but he’s also not a soft touch. It’ll be interesting to see how Davis performs against a legitimate contender after such a long layoff.

The timing of Davis’ announcement was interesting, too.

Davis and his PBC team broke the news of his fight the same night Garcia challenged Haney for the WBC Super Lightweight title. One of Davis’ managers, Leonard Ellerbe, took to social media to take a shot at what he seemingly expects to be a less-than-packed house for the Haney-Garcia bout.

Davis is one of boxing’s needle-movers.

If he’s back and ready to be active for the remainder of 2024, Davis could potentially headline another major event in the fourth quarter of the year. First, he’ll have to defeat Martin and shake off any rust.

Martin has a chance to vault himself into the same category as Davis, Haney and the others. If he wins or is able to push Davis, there will be a new name in the conversation.

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