Washington (AFP) - Unbeaten Gervonta Davis, hoping to bring something positive to his murder-plagued hometown, defends his World Boxing Association super featherweight crown against Panama's Ricardo Nunez on Saturday at Baltimore, Maryland.
It's the second time Davis, 21-0 with 20 knockouts, will defend the crown he won by stopping Argentina's Jesus Cuellar in the third round in April 2018. Davis also knocked out Mexico's Hugo Ruiz in the first round last February.
As of July 11, there had been 171 murders this year in Baltimore, a 16 percent jump from last year as deadly gun violence and multiple shootings became a daily way of life.
"The main reason why I wanted to come back home was because of people getting killed in this city," Davis said Thursday. "I want to be seen as one of the people who can bring the city together on a positive note.
"I fought in LA, London and New York, so it was about time for me to come home."
Davis, 24, will become the first Baltimore boxer to defend a title in his hometown in nearly 80 years when he meets Nunez, 21-2 with 19 knockouts.
"We both have big knockout power and may the best man win," Davis said. "I hope he's ready, because I was born ready."
Nunez, who turns 26 on Sunday, has won 10 bouts in a row, nine of them inside the distance, to earn his first world title fight and first US bout. His most recent win came in April by stopping Colombia's Eduardo Pacheco in Panama, where his boyhood hero was boxer Roberto Duran.
"I know I can knock Gervonta Davis out," Nunez said. "I'm very confident about this fight. It's going to be a great fight but I will get the victory."