Gervonta “Tank” Davis returned from a 14-month layoff to score one of the most violent knockouts.

Davis, one of boxing’s biggest stars, finished Frank Martin at the 1:29 mark of the eighth round to retain the WBA lightweight championship Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Davis rocked Martin with two punches before flooring him with a brutal overhand left for the 10 count.


The devastating victory lifts Davis’ professional record to 30-0 with 28 knockouts and reinforces his standing as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world. This was his first title defense since being elevated to the full WBA 135-pound champ late last year when Devin Haney vacated his four belts to move up in weight.

Davis hadn’t stepped into the ring since a seventh-round knockout of Ryan Garcia in April 2023 in one of the year’s most anticipated boxing matches.

Martin was competitive with Davis in the first six rounds, but Davis began to run away with the fight when he opened up with heavy punches in the seventh. He pressured Martin against the ropes and rocked him with 20 seconds left in the round. That was Davis’ best round until he crushed Martin midway through the eighth.

Davis did not call out an opponent in his postfight interview, though Top Rank head Bob Arum said earlier this week that preliminary talks were underway for a bout against IBF lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Another option for Davis could be Shakur Stevenson, who holds the WBC lightweight belt.

Martin, who had emerged as a rising star at 135 pounds over the past few years, was challenging for his first world title. He suffered his first pro loss and is now 18-1.