Next month’s fight between Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Frank Martin will no longer have the WBA-mandated 12-lb rehydration clause for their lightweight clash on June 15th in Las Vegas.

Future Impact on Davis and the Lightweight Division

The World Boxing Association’s reported decision not to have the 12-pound rehydration clause is because the Tank Davis vs. Frank Martin fight had already been inked before this change by the sanctioning body. However, the WBA’s fights in the future will have the 12-lb rehydration clause in effect.

Still, the new rule could impact Baltimore native Tank Davis’ future fights, making it difficult for him to stay at 135, at least with the WBA. If Tank doesn’t move up to 140, he might need to pursue one of the other lightweight belts.

There are currently two vacant straps, IBF and WBO that Tank Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) could target if he chooses to jettison his WBA regular’ lightweight crown. Tank would have to mix it up with the likes of William Zepeda or Emanuel Navarrete if he chooses to vacate his WBA title to go after the IBF or WBO strap.

Those won’t be easy fights, for they’re more talented than the opposition he’s faced throughout his career.

A Possible Grandfather Clause?

Of course, one way around Tank Davis vacating the WBA title is if the sanctioning body included a grandfather clause that would allow their existing champions to be exempt from the 12-lb rehydration clause and just have the new rule in effect for new champions with their organization.

It would be like what Major League Baseball did when it banned the spitball pitch in 1920 but allowed 17 pitchers to continue throwing it for the remainder of their careers.

Will the WBA grant Tank Davis a grandfather clause to continue to rehydrate well over the 12-lb rehydration limit? If not, Tank could be forced to vacate his WBA secondary 135-lb title, which would open the doors for talented lightweight contenders William Zepeda, Floyd Schofield, or Edwin De Los Santos to swoop in and snatch the vacated strap.

Given Tank Davis’ popularity, I think it’s possible the WBA could create a grandfather clause like MLB baseball did in 1920 to allow him to continue to rehydrate well past the 12-lb limit for newer champions.

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