BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Sunday night, Baltimore returned to boxing’s biggest stage.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis, a native of Baltimore, headlined Showtime’s Pay-per-view Main Event from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, defending his WBA Lightweight Title against Issac “Pitbull” Cruz.
His longtime coaches gave Rick Ritter an exclusive one-on-one interview last weekend, before the game.
The last time Gervonta Davis was in the ring, it was a sight we’ve all seen: another devastating punch that stopped the fight. It was his deadly superior punch that quickly became his forte and helped elevate him to the status of one of boxing’s most polarizing figures.
“We are at that level. He’s that guy now,” said longtime trainer, Coach Calvin Ford, who runs the Upton Boxing Center in West Baltimore. “His star status is growing. He walked down the street and everyone knew who he was. It’s a specialty. ”
You cannot be a “person” without a “team” behind you.
Tank’s angle is definitely one of the best in boxing. Two people have been with him since he was a kid: Coaches Calvin Ford & Kenny Ellis.
“This is a big fight and on a Sunday. You don’t really see that, a big fight on Sunday night. Ford said.
“I think the camping trip went well for him, both mentally and physically. Tank looks good. He’s motivated and ready to go on a show,” Ellis said.
No one knows Gervonta better than these two guys – both of whom have been Davis’ father over the years. They run the Upton Boxing Center in West Baltimore, a life-changing gym for young adults across the City of Baltimore.
So much so, not just the Tank that represented Baltimore on Sunday night. Daughter of coach Kenny Ellis, Mia Ellis, who is leading 2-0 with two knockouts, and Malik Warren, who is leading 5-0 with five knockouts, both defeated on Sunday night. Japan.
“The fact that your daughter is on the bottom card and Malik Warren is on the bottom – it’s putting the city on the map right now, showing that this superstar class is real for all kids, yes are not?” Ritter asked.
“It was a dream come true, man. I am very proud of them. We also have kids walking behind them, looking at them and they see that it’s doable,” Ellis said.
“Telling you the truth is bigger than boxing,” said Ford. “We’re trying to build a family-oriented place to take the kids where they want to go.”
The duo is doing exactly that, with Gervonta leading the way in the ring.
Now, it was the aggressive Cruz himself standing in Tank’s way.
“He will be determined to really do what it takes to get Tank off the throne but guess what? I know my guy. He is the best. He is ready. I know my team. I have the best team in the corner,” said Ford.
“He won’t make it to round 3,” Ellis laughed. “Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t make it to round 1. Don’t buy popcorn, get cotton candy. You can eat it faster,” Ellis joked.
While faith in this team was clear, the message for all the little kids in Baltimore watching Sunday night was just as clear.
“Believe in your dreams. Pursue your dreams. Put people around you to stay with you and push you to achieve your goals in life,” says Ford.
“This is proof that there is hope and if you want it, you can have it. You just need to get your job done. We are all just getting started,” Ellis said.
As far as what 2022 holds for Team Gervonta Davis, both Ford and Ellis say you can expect more kills and some “battles with Godzilla”.
“We’re going to have a couple of those Godzilla battles. You are the first to hear it here. That’s what I’m calling them. Not the big battles, Godzilla fights. You cannot drop them because Tank is asking for them. Everyone wants a part of him and he knows what it means to be that star now,” said Ford.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/12/05/gervonta-davis-longtime-trainers-sit-down-with-rick-ritter-ahead-of-staples-center-fight/ Longtime Gervonta Davis coaches sit down with Rick Ritter ahead of Staples center fight – CBS Baltimore