Gervonta Davis, who is fighting under Floyd Mayweather's promotional outfit, has become a two-weight division champion.
On Saturday, December 28, 2019, Davis proved too strong for former world champion, Yuriokis Gamboa.
In a report sighted on ESPN, although Davis dominated the fight to claim a vacant secondary 135-pound world title, it was a surprise that Gamboa, who is long past his best days and ruptured his right Achillies early in the bout, was able to go into the final round.
Gamboa was knocked out in his two previous losses by Terence Crawford in the ninth round of a lightweight title bout in 2014 and by journeyman Robinson Castellanos in the seventh round in 2017.
"I believe my performance tonight was a C-plus," Davis said, knowing he was expected to dismiss Gamboa much earlier. "It was a great experience. I'm only 25 years old. I'm learning each and every day."
Whatever the 38-year-old Gamboa has lost in his skills and reflexes, his heart is still championship material as he took a shellacking from Davis but fought hard until the end.
Although Davis' conditioning was an issue he struggled to make 135 pounds despite the fight being his first at lightweight - he scored knockdowns in the second, eighth and 12th rounds and led 109-98 on two scorecards and 109-97 on the third before closing the show in front of a crowd of 14,129.
"Coming into this fight I knew Gamboa was a tough opponent. I knew he was a vet," Davis said. "As you see in the ring, I was catching and hurting him, but he was still there. I knew he was better than anyone I had fought before."
The card featured the first world titles fights in Atlanta -- Davis' second home, where his 1-year-old daughter lives with her mother - since September 1998, when hometown favorite Evander Holyfield defended his unified heavyweight title against Vaughn Bean.
The southpaw Davis connected with two jabs and then a left hand on the chin that dropped Gamboa midway through the second round. Gamboa got up quickly but was having a hard time with his right foot. Initially, it appeared as though something on his boot had broken and he could not find his footing, telling his corner after the round that he could not walk and couldn't go on. But he did despite the difficulties.
Gamboa had a hard time finding his footing in the third and fourth rounds, and after the fourth round, assistant trainer Stacy McKinley taped up Gamboa's boot so he could have more support. Gamboa's footing improved, but he said after the bout that he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the second round but kept fighting on heart.
Tony Gonzalez, Gamboa's adviser and attorney, told ESPN that Gamboa was examined by a doctor following the fight and was indeed diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Gamboa was repeatedly rocked with left hands in the fifth round, but he surprisingly stayed on his feet, especially considering he has been knocked down many times in his career.
Gamboa landed a couple of solid left hooks in the sixth round, but Davis seemed unmoved by them and backed Gamboa up with body shots later in the round.
Davis had been very inactive in the eighth round until the final seconds when he landed a powerful straight left hand that hurt and dropped Gamboa. The round ended before Davis could throw another punch.
A right hook from Davis (23-0, 22 KOs), of Baltimore, did damage to Gamboa early in the ninth round, forcing Gamboa to hold. He took several more blows before grabbing onto Davis in desperation and wrestling him to the mat.
Davis went into the 10th round for the first time in his career, and Gamboa, fighting basically on heart, had a good round against an inactive Davis, who might have been feeling the impact of his struggles making weight.
Davis found energy late in the 11th round when he put his punches together and landed a hard straight left hand that sent Gamboa into the ropes face first.
Then he put Gamboa away in the 12th round, blasting him with an uppercut and a left hand before dropping him hard moments later with a hellacious left uppercut.
With Gamboa dazed on his rear end, referee Jack Reiss took a good look at him and waved off the fight at 1 minute, 17 seconds to end Gamboa's four-bout winning streak, which included a blistering second-round knockout of former junior lightweight titlist Roman "Rocky" Martinez on Davis' undercard in July to set up the title fight.