A grinning Gervonta Davis demonstratively answered in the affirmative when Showtime’s Jim Gray asked him recently if he has added an unofficial title to his resume.
“I’m definitely the face of boxing,” Davis replied to Gray’s question in the immediate aftermath of his seventh-round knockout of Ryan Garcia on April 22. “Abso-f----ng-lutely!”
Canelo Alvarez admitted Thursday that he is a fan of the entertaining knockout artist from Baltimore. The 32-year-old Mexican superstar reminded Davis and his supporters, though, that the emerging star has much more to prove as an attraction and as a fighter before Davis can take that crown from him.
“I’m not retired yet, my friend,” Alvarez told a small group of reporters during a virtual interview session. “They can say whatever they want, but, you know, it’s not that easy. One fight don’t put you in that position. You need to do a lotta things.”
However, Davis-Garcia was a huge financial success, a sadly infrequently occurring encouraging sign for this star-starved sport.
Hardcore and casual fans from their large fan bases combined to generate about 1.2 million pay-per-view purchases, the biggest for a boxing pay-per-view event since the Alvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin middleweight championship rematch in September 2018.
A capacity crowd of 20,842 saw the Davis and Garcia-headlined Showtime Pay-Per-View event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which Alvarez has filled seven times since it opened in 2016.
That ranks as Nevada's fifth-highest purse for boxing. The only main event in the top five in the state that didn't feature Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather, Davis' former promoter, was Davis-Garcia.
T-Mobile Arena is the sixth location since July 2019 when a performance by Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) drew a full house. Although the four-division champion doesn't believe the 28-year-old Davis has accomplished enough to be regarded as the "face of boxing" just yet, Alvarez has taken note.
“There are a lotta good fighters coming up,” said Alvarez, who has been boxing’s biggest attraction in the United States since Mayweather retired. “One of them is Gervonta, for sure. But he need to do more things, not just in one fight. But I like Gervonta. I like Gervonta Davis a lot. You know, but he need to do more things to be the face of boxing, not just one fight. And one fight with Ryan Garcia – I respect Ryan Garcia. But what he brings [to be] the face of boxing?”
Nearby his hometown of Guadalajara in Zapopan, Mexico, Alvarez's star power will be on full show on Saturday night.
At Akron Stadium, the home of C.D. Guadalajara, a well-known soccer team, a sellout crowd in excess of 50,000 is anticipated to honour one of the best boxers of this generation. Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) will face British southpaw John Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) in the main event of a DAZN Pay-Per-View to defend his IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO super middleweight belts.