Baltimore's Gervonta Davis wins on controversial knockout in eighth round
Los Angeles Times|
Aug 26, 2017 | 11:55 PM
Baltimore's Gervonta Davis lost his belt by missing weight even before fighting Saturday and his inattention in the ring also led to a more difficult bout than he believed.
Referee Russell Mora controversially awarded Davis an eighth-round knockout victory on a left-handed punch that struck opponent Francisco Fonseca in the back of the head.
Davis (19-0, 18 knockouts) said he hurt Fonseca with a body blow before the punch, and explained that the disputed shot "capped" the damage, although fans who watched replays in the arena booed that thought.
"Everyone saw I was going down from a blow that was not legal," Fonseca said. "I want a rematch. … Even though he came in at 160 pounds, he didn't hit as hard as he says he does."
Davis lost the belt by weighing 132 pounds, two over the junior-lightweight limit Friday, losing his belt and putting the International Boxing Federation title on the line only for the 40-to-1 underdog Fonseca.
The bout served as the co-main event to the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor boxing event matching the 49-0, five-division boxing champion against the charismatic UFC champion McGregor, which was not complete at press time.
Davis, after working out under Mayweather's guidance and training feverishly in a rubber suit Thursday night, revealed again the difficulty some boxers have in making weight.
He apologized on Twitter afterward, posting, "I'm young. I'm growing. I had a chance to make the weight. I knew I couldn't make it and that's that. I will have a belt again.
"I lost the belt, not a fight. … I will make it up."
That left Davis' stablemate at Mayweather Boxing Club, former super-middleweight champion Badou Jack, to fight for a belt. He succeeded, stopping Nathan Cleverly by fifth-round technical knockout.