BALTIMORE (WJZ) — We’re just a couple of weeks away from one of the biggest boxing matches of the year for Baltimore’s own Gervonta Davis.

The west Baltimore native will headline the main event on SHOWTIME on Halloween night in a title match against Leo Santa Cruz. It will be the first fight with fans in the stands since the pandemic began.

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Davis’ longtime coach Calvin Ford moved the training camp to Las Vegas due in part to the coronavirus — the Upton Boxing Center in Baltimore remains closed. Another factor in the decision was the death of a close member of the gym who was gunned down in the midst of city violence.


Ford thought it would be good to have the team disconnect out west to focus on boxing.

Ford has been training Davis since he was young. Some of the coach’s other Baltimore boxers are quickly making a name for themselves as well, including Malik “Ice Man” Hawkins, Lorenzo “Truck” Simpson and Malik Warren.

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For Ford, it’s much bigger than boxing, though. One would be hard-pressed to find someone who cares more about the youth of the city than him. He wants to help change their future and give them an outlet.

“It’s just trying to get on that platform and get other people to see my vision and what I’m really trying to do,” he said. “It’s not just about boxing with me. Boxing is a church for me that shows we can make a difference for ourselves and the people around us.”

Ford feels he can do that with boxing and that Davis and other fighters are living proof giving the younger generation the hope it needs.

“I want to be that coach that can find other coaches, other mentors, and give them a platform so it all works together. I want to show them the blueprint that we can build something in our city,” he said.

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WJZ’s Rick Ritter will talk with Ford on WJZ throughout the rest of the week. 

Rick Ritter