|Davis vs Romero||Preview|
|Where||Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY|
|When||Saturday, May 28, 11:15pm ET|
Gervonta Davis, one of America’s most explosive fighters, defends his WBA world lightweight title at the top of Saturday’s Showtime pay-per-view show.
Having racked up an impressive 26-0 record, of which 24 of those wins came inside the distance, the pressure is on the man nicknamed ‘Tank’ to deliver yet another emphatic stoppage, with the prospect of some potentially career-defining challenges at 135lb now firmly in his sights.
In the other corner this weekend stands a man who, in all reality, is known only to dedicated boxing fans. Rolando Romero - more often known as ‘Rolly’ - has featured on some high-profile cards, including those headlined by Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Jermell Charlo, and Shawn Porter, but steps into his own main event for the first time here. With little in the way of amateur pedigree to call on, this bout - rescheduled from December - marks a colossal step up for Romero both in terms of the scale of the event and the quality of opposition.
Romero, though, is unlikely to be overawed. A brash, outspoken character, the unbeaten Las Vegas native is a relative novice of just 14 fights in the paid ranks, and despite stringing together some solid, albeit modest, wins - particularly during a creditable 2021 campaign - has, to an extent, talked himself into this payday. It is fair to say there is no love lost between the two men and, if nothing else, the long-standing grudge and style match-up should make for entertaining fare come Saturday night.
However, like many fans, the bookmakers don’t believe this will be particularly competitive. At a best price of -800, the layers have chalked up Davis with an 89% implied win probability, with prices hitting as high as -1400 (93%) and -1600 (94%) at the leaner end of the industry. That’s a range that has largely stayed consistent with the early openers from several months ago and any significant move in either direction would raise eyebrows, although late money on the favorite - pushing him into four-figure pricing across the board - is considerably more realistic than a rush on the underdog. Romero, a general +600 outsider, has therefore been deemed to have just a 14% shot of pulling what would be a shock win.
It is Davis, the house fighter and the promotional A-side, who has the intangibles on his side. It is, as those in the industry could attest, a fight that he is not meant to lose. Romero - not known for his pure boxing ability - is a huge +2000 to outpoint Davis and, given both the political, as well as technical uphill battle he faces, seeing the odds suggest a slim 4.8% likelihood is no surprise. Romero’s best chance is likely to add to his 12 career KOs and, though his 86% knockout percentage hint that this is a man who can end a contest at any time, whether he is good enough to inflict such damage on the hard-charging Davis is another matter. It’s +1200 (8%) for the upset stoppage.
The paths to victory for Davis look both varied and more straightforward. The 27-year-old, ranked as the world’s #3 lightweight by both the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) and #4 by The Ring magazine, was taken the distance in his last bout against the unheralded Isaac Cruz to interrupt a KO streak that, incredibly, began in 2014. A 92% knockout-to-win percentage tells the story and Davis, pound for pound, is already thought by many to be one of the sport’s most destructive punchers.
The early -333 quotes on Davis to notch stoppage #25 will have been appetizing to odds-on and parlay bettors but, with the exception of a few outliers, that price has now shortened to around -400, or an 80% win chance. It’s a prop that will undoubtedly still be a popular play this weekend. Those fancying another Davis decision, with Romero following in the footsteps of Cruz in forcing the bout to the judges’ scorecard, will find +550 (15% implied) available.
One way for more casual bettors - or simply those whose preference is not to back odds-on shots - to side with the favorite might be in the Grouped Round Betting prop market. Since stepping up to 135lb for a vacant title in late 2019, there are early signs that Davis may need to adjust to longer outings at the heavier weights compared to 130lb, where he largely made his name with a series of first-half finishes.
Tank’s body of work above super-feather is still limited, but a faded Yuriorkis Gamboa took him into the final round before being stopped, and Mario Barrios went 11 rounds, albeit at 140lb, together with the aforementioned Cruz 12-rounder. The caliber of opponent is higher of late, but it is a noticeable contrast with the 2018-2019 three-fight tear of Davis in which he blitzed Jesus Cuellar (3), Hugo Ruiz (1), and Ricardo Nunez (2) in six rounds combined. Taking Davis to win inside the second half of the contest, then, holds some appeal at +225 (31%), as does the over 5.5 rounds, which gives slightly more breathing room at -150 — a 60% implied chance.
Gervonta Davis vs Rolly Romero free betting pick and prediction:
Over 5.5 rounds (-150)
|Gervonta Davis||Tale of the tape||Rolly Romero|
|26-0, 24KOs||Record||14-0, 12KOs|
The Davis vs Romero fight is the pinnacle of a four-fight card from the Barclays Center. Here's the full running order:
Gervonta Davis (-900) vs Rolando Romero (+650) for the WBA (Regular) lightweight title
Erislandy Lara (-2000) vs Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan (+1200)
Jesus Ramos (-1000) vs Luke Santamaria (+700)
Eduardo Ramirez (-400) vs Luis Melendez (+320)
The Gervonta Davis vs Rolly Romero fight can be streamed live on Showtime PPV. Anyone looking stream the Davis fight on their phone can download the Showtime app.