ATLANTA – Gervonta Davis made the weight on his second trip to the scale Friday.
The former 130-pound champion came back to Compound, the nightclub where he first failed to make weight for his lightweight title fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa. Davis officially weighed 134½ pounds on his second attempt to make the 135-pound limit for their fight Saturday night at nearby State Farm Arena.
Members of Gamboa’s team watched Davis make weight on his second try. His exact weight was 134.8 pounds.
Gamboa weighed in at 134½ pounds on his first attempt.
The vacant WBA world lightweight title thus will be at stake for both the 25-year-old Davis (22-0, 21 KOs) and the 38-year-old Gamboa (30-2, 18 KOs). Ukraine’s Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) owns the WBA’s “super” lightweight title and is that sanctioning organization’s recognized champion within the 135-pound division.
Balitmore’s Davis will pay an undisclosed fine out of his seven-figure purse to the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission for failing to make weight on his first attempt. Part of that fine will be paid to Gamboa, a three-division champion from Cuba.
Davis weighed a career-high 136¼ pounds the first time he tried to make weight for what was promoted as his debut as a full-fledged lightweight. Davis arrived nearly two hours late to a weigh-in Showtime streamed live because he was trying to shed pounds right up until he had to step on the scale.
“We were surprised Tank didn’t make the weight the first time,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO for Mayweather Promotions, told BoxingScene.com. “It’s disappointing, but sometimes things like this happen. We don’t condone it. We’ll be criticized for it, but we understand that comes with the territory.”
Once he initially failed to make weight, an irritated Davis pushed Gamboa forcefully with two hands as they stood face-to-face on stage. Davis’ shove ignited a brawl that took several minutes for Atlanta police officers and Compound security personnel to control.
Neither fighter was injured during the melee. No other injuries were reported, either, from the ugly incident at an event that was open to the public.
The Georgia commission gave Davis one hour to return to the scale at 135 pounds or lower. When he returned to Compound, Davis stripped naked and came in half a pound below the lightweight limit.
Showtime will televise Davis-Gamboa as the main event of a tripleheader scheduled to start Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Though this was far from Davis’ first problem making weight, his initial inability to do so Friday was somewhat surprising because he’ll box Gamboa at a division five pounds above the weight class in which he knocked out Ricardo Nunez in the second round of his previous fight, July 28 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore. He has had to weigh in more than once several times since he became a 130-pound world champion in January 2017, but Davis usually has met his contractual obligation on his second attempt.
The strong southpaw was stripped of his IBF junior lightweight title, however, the day before beating Francisco Fonseca by eighth-round knockout in August 2017. Davis couldn’t get lower than 132 pounds for that 12-round, 130-pound championship match on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.