Gervonta Davis celebrates after he TKO's Jesus Cuellar in the third round to win the WBA Super Featherweight Championship bout at Barclays Center on April 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Atlanta to host to championship boxing matches

Atlanta will host a world championship boxing match for the first time in more than 20 years with two title bouts at State Farm Arena on Dec. 28.

Gervonta Davis and Yuriorkis Gamboa will fight for the vacant WBA Lightweight championship and Jean Pascal will defend his WBA Light Heavyweight title against Badou Jack in co-features.

The bouts will be broadcast on Showtime.

The last world title fight in Atlanta was unified heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield’s IBF and WBA defenses against Vaughn Bean at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 19, 1998. Holyfield knocked down Bean in the 10th round on his way to a unanimous decision in front of a crowd of more than 41,000.

“The spotlight will be on Atlanta,” Davis, a two-time Super Featherweight champion, said in a statement. “They haven’t had a big fight there in many years. So it’s a dream to bring big time boxing back just like I did in Baltimore. Atlanta welcomed me with open arms for so many years. I always knew I had a fan base and I always wanted to fight here. Now is the perfect time in my career for it to happen.”

Well-known boxers Vernon Forrest and Paul Williams have fought in Atlanta since the Holyfield bout but not with a title on the line.

The undercard on next Saturday’s event will have three bouts: Malik Hawkins vs. Darwin Price in a 10-round super lightweight fight; Angelo Leo vs. Cesar Juarez in an IBF and WBO Super Bantamweight title eliminator; and Viddal Riley vs. Muhammad Abdullah in a four-round fight.

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