By Paul Magno | June 17, 2024

PBC mic man Brian Custer stole my angle on Saturday night, at the end of the telecast that saw Gervonta “Tank” Davis stop Frank “The Ghost” Martin in eight rounds. 

The seasoned announcer closed out the Amazon Prime pay-per-view show from the MGM Grand by referring to Tank as “special.” 

That was my first thought following the 29-year-old’s big win. Special. 

With every single one of these boxing events, hype is inflated. Fighters are boosted from good to great and from great to legendary. It’s the nature of the big boxing event machine. With a thousand little junior publicists disguised as media descending on fight weeks, looking to ingratiate themselves to the promoters, the fighters, and to the fans supporting the fighters with feel-good fuzziness, it’s especially easy to get a distorted view of just how good fighters may be.

Tank Davis, to his credit, though, always seems to exceed that hype. He’s that good and, yeah, that special.

If you can’t see what this guy has, then I not-so-humbly suggest that maybe boxing is not your thing or that, maybe, you should just refrain from sharing ill-informed opinions. 

Now, let’s talk reality checks.

Frank Martin is a very good fighter, but not among the top 3 in the division, IMO (although his performance on Saturday suggests that he would do very well against anyone other than Davis at 135). As I’ve said many times before, Davis should’ve already had Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko on his resume, with, maybe, Shakur Stevenson on deck. I’m not a fan of the Mayweather-esque, “marinate to the point of antagonizing the fans” career plan-- even if it seems to work. 

Still, Martin was a consensus top 5 guy. And Davis felt him out, walked him down, and put him away. If there was any doubt that he’d do exactly that, then you must not have seen many Tank Davis fights.

The confidence, the skill, the hunger to close the show-- that’s all “special” in the boxing world and, sadly, fairly uncommon these days. There should be zero doubt that he’d showcase all of that against the top dogs as well as the middle dogs. 

The fans have responded to Tank’s ring presence by boosting his big-picture presence. His box office success is of the grassroots variety-- again, sadly uncommon these days. The fans, themselves, have turned his fights into events. A string of sold-out shows at various venues tells that tale. And while pay-per-view success has lagged behind live gate success, he’s shown with the Ryan Garcia fight that he’s always just a solidly bankable opponent away from doing very big business. 

It would help his pay-per-view sustainability if EVERYTHING he did wasn’t behind a gigantic paywall. It would make his big events considerably bigger if more people were able to see what he could do. This Frank Martin fight shouldn’t have been on pay-per-view. It should’ve been a public spectacle where everyone could watch and not just die hard, already-sold fans. This fight that he willed into being a must-see event inside the paywall, should’ve been a testament to his must-see appeal to the general public-- an appeal to new fans, young fans, that this is a guy you SHOULD be willing to pay for. 

But that’s just a business gripe.

As a boxing fan, there’s nothing more that you can ask for than an elite fighter, executing to the best of his abilities in an entertaining manner. Gervonta Davis gives us that...all the time.

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