Unbeaten super featherweight Gervonta Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) scored a spectacular third round KO over Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) to claim the vacant WBA 130lb “super” world title on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Davis, who lost the IBF 130-pound title on the scales last August, scored three knockdowns in less than three rounds to win his second title in the super featherweight division. The 23-year-old connected on 49 percent of his power shots in his first bout with new trainer Kevin Cunningham.
Davis utilized a combination of body shots, uppercuts and effective counterpunching to break down Cuellar, a former titlist at 126-pounds. Baltimore’s Davis floored Cuellar with a body blow in the second round and didn’t relent from there. The southpaw pressed forward in the third, stalking Cuellar against the ropes and sending him down for the second time with a series of combinations. Cuellar got up, but was in serious trouble and referee Benjy Esteves stepped in to halt the contest at 2:45 with the Argentine falling to the canvas for the third time.
“On the undercard of the Mayweather-McGregor fight, I just wasn’t focused,” Davis said afterward. “It was the second time fighting on Mayweather’s card so it got to my head and it showed. After the fight, I went home and talked to my team and we decided it was time to leave Baltimore. I’m focused and it showed because I’m a champ again.
“There’s always bumps in the road when you want to become successful. It’s all about how you bounce back and tonight I showed that I’m a true champion.”
“The game plan was to box a little bit and open him up with some shots,” Davis said. “When it was time, I went forward and caught him with enough shots to get him out.
“I want the IBF belt back and I’m ready to unify it with whoever wins the [Tevin] Farmer vs. [Billy] Dib fight.”