AFTER a year out of the ring Gervonta “Tank” Davis returns on June 15 seemingly in a good place.

The 29-year-old will defend his WBA lightweight title against Frank Martin at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Amazon Prime pay-per-view.

Davis, one of boxing’s biggest stars, defeated Ryan Garcia in March 2023 in a modern-day super-fight. His seventh-round stoppage cemented his reputation as a star attraction but problems outside the ring stopped any momentum gained from beating “King Ry”.

A hit and run accident in November 2020, which injured four people including a pregnant woman, brought a sentence last May of 90 days home detention, three years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Davis was then jailed for violating the terms of his sentence and ordered to serve the remainder of his punishment in a Baltimore jail. But still, his name continued to be linked to several big fights ranging from Shakur Stevenson to Teofimo Lopez.

Davis’s coach, Calvin Ford, has remarked how his fighter has matured and is in a better place. Boxing News asked “Tank” what the reason was for these self-improvements.

“I’m around good people, so I’m alright,” he said.

“Not getting in trouble, that’s a good thing. Staying out the way,” he added.

Davis may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but having him in the ring rather than away from it is good for the sport. When a “Tank” Davis fight is in town, people notice, celebrities notice, and he is one of the few who can cross over to the mainstream. A place boxing rarely gets the chance to visit. But the people of Baltimore matter most to Davis.

“A lot of people relate,” he says.

“I never hid my story and I think a lot of people can relate to my story. I feel as though a lot of people gravitate to me.”

BN asked Davis how it feels to be a role model for those who gravitate toward him.

“I wouldn’t say [it’s] me being a role model, it’s just me being me. Trying to be great… I don’t know.”

Davis is a man of few words, but his actions in a boxing ring to date have him unbeaten in 29 contests. Next up is Frank Martin, a Derrick James-trained lightweight yet to lose in 18 fights so far. Both fighters went face to face at a launch press conference yesterday (May 4) in Las Vegas, and neither backed down with plenty of words exchanged, almost leading to matters getting out of hand.

Asked how the fight ends on June 15, Davis said, “Ass-whooping on site.”