Gervonta Davis hits Ryan Garcia during a lightweight boxing bout...

Gervonta Davis hits Ryan Garcia during a lightweight boxing bout Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Las Vegas. The last time Gervonta Davis was seen in the ring, he had just dismantled Ryan Garcia with a seventh-round knockout. That was more than a year ago. Davis returns Saturday, June 15, 2024, to take on fellow undefeated fighter Frank Martin for the WBA lightweight championship. Credit: AP/John Locher

LAS VEGAS — Even when others had the microphone at their news conference, Gervonta “Tank" Davis and Frank Martin couldn't help themselves.

They carried on a seemingly endless conversation Wednesday that ended only when Davis pretended to take a swing at Martin as they posed side by side for photos. Martin flinched and Davis left the podium laughing.

Whether Davis has the last laugh Saturday night will be determined when the undefeated fighters, both 29, face each other for Tank's WBA lightweight championship belt.

That bout highlights the 100th championship fight night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which has been replaced by T-Mobile Arena as Las Vegas' prime spot for combat sports. But the MGM has a rich history, and the co-main event will feature the interim WBC light heavyweight title fight between David Benavidez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) hopes to create more MGM memories by putting on a show similar to the last time he was in a ring more than a year ago. He delivered a devastating left uppercut that floored Ryan Garcia for a seventh-round knockout in the April 22, 2023, fight at T-Mobile.

“I’ve been locked in for a long time now,” Davis said. “My give-back is going to be a great performance on Saturday night.”

As Davis noted, the Baltimore native and resident has a history of backing up his words, winning titles in three divisions and five championships overall.

And Davis likes to talk. Much like the nasty back-and-forth he and Garcia engaged in leading up to their showdown, he hasn't backed off with Martin. But Davis and Garcia acknowledged after their fight much more shared affection and respect, making their apparent spat look contrived.

How much of Davis' chatter with Martin was genuine, trying to sell extra pay-per-views or revving himself up is anyone's guess, but Tank make sure to play the familiar role of taunting his opponent.

“He’s shaking up there," Davis said of Martin. "He was talking tough (Tuesday) when it was just him. It’s going to show. He’s a frontrunner.

“He’s just worried about not getting knocked out. He’s not worrying about winning."

Martin, who lives in Indianapolis, has done nothing but win in building an 18-0 record with 12 knockouts. This is his first shot at a championship belt, though there were arguably better and more marketable opponents for Davis in Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson.

Those fighters could still be waiting for Davis, but Martin can put a damper on such plans with an upset victory. Davis a -700 favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook, meaning a $700 wager would pay $100 if he wins.

“I appreciate Tank giving me the opportunity to whoop his (butt),” Martin said. “He just hasn’t been in there with anybody like me.”

Unlike with Davis and Martin, Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) and Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) praised each other in the lead-up to their match, including at Thursday's news conference.

“I’m excited to face the best version of David Benavidez,” said Gvozdyk, a Ukraine native who trains in Oxnard, California. “This is a great opportunity to face a tough fighter like David Benavidez. He’s representing boxing really well. We’re going to show everyone a great fight."

Gvozdyk, 37, is 10 years older than Benavidez. The younger fighter is moving up a weight class from super middleweight, so this could be quite a test for Benavidez, a -600 favorite at BetMGM.

“This is the easiest weight cut I’ve had in my life," said Benavidez, who lives in Las Vegas. "My speed, strength and endurance are all going to be better. I left no stone unturned for this training camp. I’m facing a great fighter and we’ve put together a great gameplan.

“This is the perfect time for me to move up. I’ve been at super middleweight for 10 years and naturally my body has gotten bigger. Now I want to go after all the titles in this weight class and give the fans the best possible fights that I can."

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