In the boxing world, Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a high-profile professional boxer who has won World Title Championship belts in three separate weight divisions, as well as being a former Golden Gloves champion. He is also a former protege of Floyd “Money” Mayweather who considers him to be one of the most talented young boxers in the game today. Known for his explosive knockouts, Davis has a deep understanding of boxing and a high ring IQ that any aspiring fighter can learn from. Today, Evolve Daily is pleased to share five ways to fight like Gervonta “Tank” Davis.
The jab is the most important punch in boxing and is a big part of Gervontas’ success in the ring. Although he is known more for his explosive knockouts, Gervonta Davis sets everything up with an educated and well-rounded jab. He will often throw pawing jabs to measure distance before throwing a powerful left cross or right hook. In the video above, notice how Tank trains by throwing light jabs to measure distance and occupy his opponent’s guard.
Davis will also occasionally leave his jab extended after throwing it, resembling a momentary long guard. This allows him to block lanes of traffic while moving either away or further towards his opponent. This can be very effective for a fighter with a reach disadvantage.
Tanks’ footwork is another primary contributing factor to his success in the boxing ring. His footwork doesn’t have a lot of flash to it; rather, it is simply well-executed fundamental footwork patterns. Davis’ footwork has an element of speed to it, but its smoothness is where the beauty and effectiveness are. Much like Floyd Mayweather, the fluidity of Davis’ footwork lets him make things look easy in the ring. The fluidity and effortlessness have very little telegraphing or pre-motion, giving his opponents almost no time to react. The clips below showcase Davis’ basic, but effective footwork. Notice how he is rarely out of stance, even after pivoting to the outside. This is what lets him move around the ring so effectively.
Tank’s footwork allows him to dictate where the fight takes place in the ring. He tends to start his fights slowly, boxing his opponents on the outside while finding the holes in their game that he can exploit. Once he establishes his jab and finds his range, he uses his footwork to close the gap and land powerful punches from the inside. Practice your footwork slowly and smoothly to develop fluidity like Davis.
Watching Gervonta Davis can help any aspiring fighter looking to improve their head movement. He uses a potent combination of slips, dips, rolls, and pulls to keep his chin out of his opponent’s line of fire while putting him in position to launch his own attacks. Improving your head movement can be done with a partner or with solo drills. A simple partner drill is to have a set combination where you and your partner take turns. One of you throws the combination at a steady pace while the other person evades using head movement. A more advanced progression of this drill is to set a number of punches, but not a specific combination. At a steady pace, have one person throw a number of punches while the other partner reacts with head movement. This drill can be done at increased speeds after both of you are comfortable.
If you don’t have a training partner or prefer to train solo, set up a simple slip line just above your shoulder height. Start at one end of the slip line and slip side to side while rolling under the line. For this drill, always slip towards the slip line first, regardless of what side of the line you are on. For example, if the slip line is on your left side, slip left, slip right, then roll under the line towards your left side while taking a step with your left foot first. The slip line will be on your right side now; you will slip right, slip left, then roll under the line towards your right while stepping with your right foot first. Each time you step, you should be moving forward slightly as well as side to side. Once you reach the end of the line, repeat the drill but move backwards instead. Coach Tom Yankello explains this drill further in the video above.
Once you are comfortable with this drill, progress to a more advanced version of it. For the progression, you will add two pivots after each roll. For example, after you roll towards your left side under the line, you will pivot twice, counterclockwise, then clockwise. You will always pivot away from the line first for this drill. Becoming fluid with this drill will translate into you being able to slip your opponent’s punches while pivoting away to take angles on them. The progression discussed is explained in the video above.
One of Tanks’ signature counters is slipping to the outside while throwing his left cross or overhand. This is similar to Pacquiao’s split entry cross counter but thrown with more power. Here is an example of Tank executing this technique against Rolando “Rolly” Romero.
Another way to fight like Tank is to improve your counter-punching ability. Many of his knockouts come from countering his opponent’s punches after using head movement to evade. You can develop this in your own boxing by throwing punches after moving your head. This can be done in shadowboxing or on the heavy bag and double end bag.
Add this technique to your boxing arsenal by practicing the outside slip as a southpaw while throwing a power cross down the middle. After throwing your left cross, practice pivoting to the outside and dashing backwards to gain distance from your opponent.
Another counter to add to your arsenal is a left uppercut from an inside slip. To practice this, step your left foot forward and to the left, almost ending up in an orthodox stance, while you slip your head to the left. This emulates slipping an orthodox opponent’s cross. After your inside slip, throw a powerful uppercut from the slipped position, aiming for your opponent’s chin.
One of the age-old questions in boxing is if a puncher is made or born. While not everyone has the potential to have the explosive power of Mike Tyson or Deontay Wilder, everyone can train to maximize their own individual power.
To maximize your punching power, start by practicing clean technique with proper form. This ensures that there are no weak links in your kinetic chain, which can hinder your power output greatly. Gervonta Davis’ power starts from his grounded footwork. His legs are bent, almost like coiled springs, allowing him to push off the ground and generate explosive power. This can be practiced in shadowboxing to an extent, but the heavy bag is the best tool for this.
Notice how Tank maintains his balance, even when throwing full power shots on the heavy bag. Practicing this will allow you to throw punches with power, without leaving yourself vulnerable to an opponent’s counter.
These tips are just the beginning of delving into Gervonta Davis’ boxing style. Any boxer looking to improve their own skills can utilize these to reach the next level in their training. Try these in your next sparring session and let us know if they work for you!
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