Gervonta Davis' next fight will be against British challenger in London on May 20

How long can Gervonta Davis hold on to the IBF super-featherweight title he won in January?

You can't accuse Baltimore's Gervonta Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather Jr., of avoiding risk.

Instead of fighting close to home in his first defense of the IBF super-featherweight title he won in January, Davis will travel to London to take on undefeated British challenger Liam Walsh. Mayweather and British promoter Frank Warren made the May 20 fight official at a news conference Tuesday in London.

"It says a lot about the faith they have in Gervonta to come to Liam's backyard," Warren said.

"Hopefully he'll be ready, because I will be," Davis said.

Davis (17-0 with 16 knockouts) and Walsh (21-0 with 14 knockouts) will fight in London's Copper Box Arena, which seats 7,500. A U.S. broadcast has yet to be announced.

Davis, 22, won his title by stopping favored champion Jose Pedraza in the seventh round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The performance stamped him as a rising star with an aggressive, fan-friendly style.

At the news conference Tuesday, Mayweather said he's urged Davis to continue producing entertaining fights in addition to victories. "Gervonta is not just the youngest world champion in boxing, he's one of the most exciting fighters in boxing," Mayweather said.

Walsh, a southpaw like Davis, picked up on the same theme, promising to deliver a show.

"There's one thing for certain, this is a proper fight, what boxing fans want to see," he said.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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