Gervonta Davis is one of boxing’s rising stars. The 27-year-old has won his 26 professional fights, 24 by knockout, and won world title belts at super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight.
He’s also been a consistent ticket seller, filling arenas across the country.
Sports betting operators have also understood the message. Davis is a heavy favorite to defeat Rolando “Rollie” Romero on Saturday at New York’s Barclays Center for the WBA lightweight title in the main event of a pay-per-view on Showtime.
At BetMGM, Davis is a huge -1000 favorite. Romero, who is 14-0 with 12 knockouts, has +550. Davis by KO/TKO/Technical Ruling/Disqualification is -400, also a huge number to ponder. Romero by KO/TKO/Technical Ruling/Disqualification is +900.
It is almost impossible to bet Davis at these prices. Davis is known for his power, but that masks an above average boxing ability. He’s not too fast, but he’s a lively and precise puncher.
Davis can be a slow starter and against a fighter like Romero, who has legit punching power, that could be a problem for him.
There’s no sense putting -1000 on Davis, whose best win was his 2017 title effort against Jose Pedraza. He never reached the level he showed in that fight again.
If he had improved every time, that would be a reason to invest that kind of money, but the number seems to be based more on reputation than performance.
Romero’s boxing skills are in question – he insists he’s a better boxer and told Yahoo Sports he’ll knock out Davis in the first – but his power isn’t.
The likely scenario is that Davis takes Romero out and wins a decision or stops him late after wearing him down. But the fact that Romero is so bossy provides another legitimate option, especially given the odds.
The game thus becomes Romero by KO at +900. It’s not really a risk, if you put a unit on him. If you lose this bet, you lose $100. But if you bet Davis wins and loses, you lose $1,000. It’s a huge difference.
Given Davis’ propensity to start slow and get hit early in fights, that makes Romero’s knockout proposition that much better. This is the first time Romero has taken part in an event of this magnitude, and he knows he has a lot to prove. It would therefore not be shocking to see him come out very early.
So I’m going to bet the $100 and bet on Romero to win by KO at +900. I will also put half a unit on Romero to win by decision, which is +1800. So I’m going to risk $50 to potentially earn another $900. It’s by far the most unlikely scenario, but I’ll cover myself there in case Romero hurts Davis and maybe drops him more than once but doesn’t finish him.
If I’m honest, I think Davis wins the fight. It’s just too hard to stretch, and Romero has the ability to win by knockout.