Paulie Malignaggi, boxing analyst, believes Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis is swerving a unification fight against WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson.

Malignaggi was frustrated at hearing Tank Davis (30-0, 28 KOs) mentioning Vasily Lomachenko’s name last Saturday night following his win over Frank Martin rather than Shakur’s.

IBF lightweight champion Lomachenko is 36 years old, and Malignaggi feels he’s no longer in his prime at this stage of his long career. He’d prefer that Tank fight the 26-year-old Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs), who is still in the prime of his career.

From Tank’s perspective, he wants to fight someone who will make an entertaining fight and will look to engage. Shakur’s defensive fighting style focuses on not getting hit and pecking away with jabs.

Age and Prime Concerns

“They talked about Lomachenko at the post-fight press conference. Stevenson was always mentioning Lomachenko’s name,” said Paulie Malignaggi to Probox TV about his wanting Shakur Stevenson to be Gervonta Davis’s next opponent.

“Now that Lomachenko is 175 years old and he still looks good, but you’re [Tank Davis] naming Lomachenko at the post-fight press conference [last Saturday night], but now Stevenson is the prime guy who doesn’t represent a risk that you want to take,” said Malignaggi, making it clear that Tank Davis is ducking Shakur in favor of the 36-year-old Lomachenko.

It makes sense that Tank is interested in fighting Lomachenko now because he can’t afford to wait much longer. The highly accomplished Ukrainian fighter will retire soon, so it’s literally now or never for Tank. In contrast, Shakur is young enough for Tank Davis to fight at some point in the future. Shakur will be around for a long time.

“This is my issue here. When I wanted to see Davis and Lomachenko, I wanted to see Davis and Lomachenko. I don’t need to see Davis and Lomachenko when it’s too late already. Now, I want to see Davis and Stevenson.

“Guess what? Nobody is talking about Davis and Stevenson. That’s my issue. That’s my problem with boxing,” said Malignaggi. “They make fights when it’s convenient for them when there’s an advantage. Davis looked terrific [against Frank Martin.]. I was very impressed with the performance.’

Shakur’s Recent Performance and Popularity

Malignaggi forgets that Shakur came off a horrible performance against Edwin De Los Santos last November, and his popularity is at an all-time low after that fight.

After the way Shakur fought, you can’t blame Tank for not wanting anything to do with fighting him because few fighters do. No one wants to chase a runner around the ring for twelve rounds and then be on the receiving end of a controversial decision like we saw with De Los Santos.

“The way he was able to go and get that win, but come on. Shakur Stevenson is a different proposition than anybody else,” said Malignaggi. “The little bit of problems that you saw Frank giving Davis. It’s times ten when Shakur is in there because Shakur is the tall, rangy southpaw with a lot more IQ and a lot more versatility with his style.”

Malignaggi is off with his high praise of Shakur, who won’t have the same success as Martin did against Tank Davis because he would be afraid to let his hands go with power shots.

Shakur’s Defensive Style

Shakur would throw single shots and run. That won’t be effective against Tank because he will be winning rounds based on his pressure and harder shots.

“I’d love to see the fight. I’m saying this because I want to see the fight. I think Davis is very qualified for that fight. Do I edge Shakur? I’ve always edged Shakur. I think Davis is very qualified for that fight. He looks terrific,” said Malignaggi.

“He’s a thinker. It’s not just the twitch and the power. It’s also his understanding in there. He knows how to set things up. I want to see two [Shakur and Tank] get it on. Not later. I want to see them get it on now in their prime,” said Malignaggi.

Shakur needs to accept William Zepeda’s challenge and prove that he can battle this guy in a war without getting on his bike like he always does. Moving up to 140 or 147 pounds would allow Shakur to increase his popularity against the top fighters in those weight classes.

Unfortunately, Shakur would likely have difficulty getting fights in those divisions, too, unless he were willing to take a dangerous guy like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.

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