Gervonta Davis endured a hostile experience when he traveled to London for a fight in 2017 – but he seemed to enjoy every moment of it.
The 28-year-old is now one of America’s biggest boxing stars and is heading for a massive showdown with compatriot Ryan Garcia next year, although it’s Hector Luis Garcia next.
At 22, however, Davis was just beginning to burst onto the scene.
The youngster sensationally knocked out Jose Pedraza to become IBF super featherweight world champion in January 2017 and was later ordered to make his first mandatory defense against Cromer’s Liam Walsh.
In an unexpected twist, Tank welcomed the opportunity to go to the UK for the fight.
His promoter Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions has reached a deal with Walsh’s promoter Frank Warren and a date has been set for May 20 at the Copper Box Arena in London.
Davis arrived in the UK flanked by a massive entourage led by the one and only Floyd Mayweather.
Since being signed to Mayweather Promotions, Tank had become a protege of the undefeated legend and that relationship grew stronger when he was crowned world champion.
On fight night itself, Mayweather’s influence was clear.
Davis took his time before walking to the ring, causing Walsh to wait in the ring for several minutes.
When he finally emerged, the London crowd – filled with a few thousand who had come from Norfolk to passionately support Walsh – was angry.
It was a hostile atmosphere in a foreign country for the 22-year-old, who had grown up with men who booed him and hurled abuse at him.
While some fighters reportedly crumbled, the rising boxing star just smiled.
Dressed as Michael Jackson, he stepped into the ring as “Beat It” played in the arena.
As the boos increased and a slew of insults continued to be hurled at him, Tank’s smile grew.
Mayweather was by his side every step of the way and could be heard telling his protege not to be distracted by the fact that he was on the outside floor. “Same ring, same gloves,” he said.
Davis stepped through the ropes as the crowd chanted, “Who the hell are you?”
They were about to find out.
It was hard to hear the American’s introduction as the boos tried to stifle him.
Tank danced through it all, knowing full well what was about to happen.
The fight began with a few cautious opening rounds in which the pair of counter-punchers expected to make the first move.
Davis showed speed and hand power as he pounded Walsh with a few hard left hands that caught his eye.
At the end of the second round, Mayweather was interviewed at ringside and said, “Eventually he’s going to break it down and knock it out.”
These comments proved to be prophetic.
In the next round, the breakthrough came when Tank landed a series of huge left hooks from close quarters which left Walsh staggering around the ring.
Davis was relentless and chased after him, smashing home another combination of power punches that took Walsh down.
The shocked Briton got back to his feet, but was on unsteady legs.
Remarkably, referee Michael Alexander didn’t stop the fight on the spot, so Davis started attacking again and couldn’t miss with his left hook.
Luckily, before Walsh fell to the canvas for the second time, Alexander jumped in and finished him off.
Davis ran across the ring and jumped on the turnbuckle in celebration, shouting at the crowd that had been hostile to him all night.
They were silenced for a brief moment, then started booing again.
Either way, Tank made his point.