The illustrious sport of boxing has witnessed numerous, nasty, and historical feuds. Hagler-Hearns, Leonard-Duran, Ali and Frazier, just to name a few. Though, in the end when the scorecards or knockout is in the record books, two fighters embrace and the bitter war of words are a part of history.
Except, when Gervonta Davis and Rolando Romero conclude their 12-round WBA lightweight title fight Saturday night, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, this highly anticipated feud on SHOWTIME Boxing Pay-Per-View will probably not see two fighters embrace and become the best of friends.
I am not keeping this between you and me because. Davis, the 27-year old superstar, five-time world champion is undefeated and has not been knocked out. Romero, the 26-year old Cuban-American is undefeated in 14 fights with 12K0’s.
They are not friends, though they have the respect of each other and that is well known in boxing circles, The awareness of this feud hit a pinnacle the past month leading up to one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
Oh, and there is this. Romero has never been knocked out. He has been stalking Davis the past two years and their initial meeting late last year was postponed because Romero was accused of sexual misconduct.
Romero has been promoting himself as the superstar. He continues to state and guarantee a first round knockout . His confidence about that knockout has been on Romero’s social media pages of a little under million followers.
Romero in media conference calls, at press conferences, and weeks before the fight has guaranteed he will have a first round moment. Every other word out of his mouth is full of vulgarities and Romero always appears with an open shirt to display a physique to relay his message across all forums.
In the meantime, Davis, a prodigy of Floyd Mayweather Jr, the eventual Hall of Famer, listens, and doesn’t shout. He says the talking is done, smiles, and answers the questions as Romero continues to throw insults about claims Davis is broke and needs this fight because of the money,
Mayweather is also a co-promoter of the fight card that includes former middleweight champion Erislandy Lara squaring off with Gary O’Sullivan in the co-main event of a PPV telecast with two other fights that begin at 9 p.m.ET.
“Everybody don’t need to have them training wheels on them forever,” Romero says about the Mayweather-Davis relationship. “It’s time to ride their own bike without training wheels.”
Davis, though, at the weigh-in Friday pushed his adversary. Romero was stunned, lost his balance, and the fireworks erupted that intensified this feud to a crescendo.
In reality, though, this fight will make money. Barclays Center will be sold out, the pay-per-view is expected to draw significant numbers when the final tabulations are recorded.
The promoters have been saying this is a lightweight title fight that has the making of a brawl and will be classic. But the lightweight titles belong to George Kambosos Jr. who will defend them against Devin Haney for the first time in his home country of Australia next Saturday.
Leave that title equation to those involved with boxing politics. In the meantime, for the first time in three years, Barclays Center, the home of pre pandemic championship fights, is back in business.
And Davis-Romero is a great welcome back. Both have power and ability to fight inside. Davis is terrific at making adjustments, pending of course, if Romero fulfills his prediction of that first round stoppage.
Ironic, also, Romero is also Mayweather promoted. So there is that familiarity between the two fighters. At one time they had a cordial friendship in a Las Vegas boxing gym that Mayweather owns. But Davis claims that Romero did not show up for a sparring session.
Davis claimed Romero was reluctant to spar with him, Romero, to the contrary, has a legitimate excuse on his text messages of running late for the session. This makes for more compelling theater for a fight that should live up to expectations.
But will Davis, in his third straight SHOWTIME Boxing PPV appearance, go down in the first round? Boxing experts all agree a first round KO is not in the cards for Romero.
Instead, it is Romero who needs to be cautious. Davis has a knockout ratio of 93 percent to go along with that undefeated mark in 26 fights. He has more experience in championship fights. There will be a knockout and I expect Davis to keep that undefeated streak in the late rounds.
Regardless, boxing has experienced the new and interesting feud of undefeated fighters and they come along every so often. We have another culmination of a nasty feud Saturday night in Brooklyn.
Rich Mancuso:Twitter@Ring786 Fcebook.com/Rich Mancuso