Gervonta Davis and Max Holloway Could Provide Interesting Bout
Max Holloway has repeatedly claimed to be the best boxer in the UFC. The former featherweight champion has always been willing to step up and take fights on short notice or in different weight classes that would be a new challenge. But trading his 4-ounce UFC gloves for 12-ounce boxing gloves would allow him to back up his claims.
Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather set the blueprint for crossover fights in the last decade. While it is hard to replicate McGregor and Mayweather because those two men have magnetic personalities, their fight opened up a world of possibilities for boxers and MMA fighters with the right promotion.
There has been a lot of buzz following Francis Ngannou’s first professional boxing fight against Tyson Fury. Ngannou holding his own and even scoring a knockdown of Fury has made some people think that maybe there are a few MMA boxers who can be competent professional boxers. Online boxing news shows that anyone who is worthy will be slowly fleshed out over time.
Holloway is on the wrong side of 30 and hasn’t had a professional boxing fight in his career. However, Holloway’s cardio has always been excellent, and he is a diligent athlete who doesn’t take shortcuts. Davis is trying to become one of the all-time greats and has tremendous hitting power.
Holloway Made Quick Rise to UFC
Holloway didn’t spend long on the regional scene. He was motivated to rise quickly after growing up in a house where his parents were heavy drug users. Holloway’s initial training background developed as a kickboxer.
Holloway, 32, made the jump to MMA at age 19. He won his first four professional flights before getting the call at UFC 143 to make a debut against future lightweight interim champion Dustin Poirier. During Holloway’s first six fights in the promotion, he fought tough competition.
Holloway also took a decision loss to future two-time division champion McGregor in addition to the loss to Poirier. With Holloway’s record sitting at 7-3, he needed to make some adjustments to become a legitimate title contender, according to MMA news sites.
Winning Streak and Featherweight Champion
A second-round TKO win over Will Chope in January 2014 kicked off the best period in Holloway’s career. He would run off 13 consecutive wins over a four-year stretch. Holloway won the interim featherweight title at UFC 206 and unified the titles at UFC 212 with a TKO win over José Aldo.
Holloway would defend his featherweight title three times: in a rematch against Aldo, against Brian Ortega, and Frankie Edgar. He even attempted to win the interim lightweight title but lost a close decision to Poirier, according to MMA latest updates.
Trilogy With Volkanovski, Supreme Gatekeeper
Holloway lost his title to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in a narrow decision. He would get two shots at taking the title from Volkanovksi at UFC 251 and UFC 276 but would lose two more decisions. But Holloway not being able to take the belt back didn’t reduce his shine.
Holloway has kept other top featherweight contenders down: picking up wins over Calvin Kattar, Yair Rodríguez and Arnold Allen. The win over Kattar was especially noticeable. In a fight on network TV, Holloway battered Kattar to a pulp and set records for significant strikes. Holloway is 25-7 in his career and has never been knocked out.
Davis Has Been Hard to Hit
Davis, 29, is a Baltimore, Maryland, native who turned pro in 2019. The path to boxing helped provide an escape for Davis. He grew up in a tough neighborhood and ended up dropping out of school to focus on boxing. He won the 2012 National Golden Glove championships. Davis turned professional in 2013 and ran off 16 wins before getting a chance to fight for a world championship.
Davis claimed his first title in 2017 when he beat José Pedraza by TKO in the seventh round to win the super featherweight title. He would only defend his title once before being forced to vacate it due to missing weight.
Davis Claims Lightweight Crown
There are plenty of weight divisions in boxing. That provided Davis with an opportunity to claim another title when he fought Yuriorkis Gamboa for the WBA (regular) lightweight title. Davis defended that belt four times to move to 28-0. Legal issues slowed down Davis’ challenges to picking up more victories.
Davis’ last fight came against previously undefeated fighter Ryan Garcia. Garcia has a large social media following and Davis was able to pick up the biggest purse of his career with his seventh-round knockout. Davis is 29-0 in his career with 27 knockouts.
Holloway Has Asked for Davis
Holloway doesn’t want to take a few tune-up fights before getting involved with boxing. He wants an opportunity to fight Davis in the next year or so. However, Davis is rumored to be looking for a fight with Conor Benn.
Holloway is a big name in UFC circles, but it’s unknown how much of an appeal he has to casual boxing fans. There has been a lot of interest in Davis still trying to stack up titles in the boxing world. However, it would be interesting to see how Holloway could handle a fighter like Davis.
Davis is a more powerful puncher and obviously has spent all of his professional career boxing. While Holloway is an accurate puncher, he isn’t necessarily known for putting opponents away. Holloway has only finished 11 of his 25 career victories by knockout. It’s hard to imagine that Davis wouldn’t win a bout between the two men comfortably.
Davis may even be the first man who would knock out Holloway. But with there being interest on at least one side, if Davis can’t find the right boxing fight, this could be a way to get both men another solid payday.
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By Dean McHugh