'Humble' Gervonta Davis says time in jail helped him mature

Gervonta Davis will return to the ring Saturday to defend his WBA lightweight title against Frank Martin (8 p.m. ET, Prime Video pay-per-view), the star boxer's first fight since he served 44 days at a Baltimore detention center last summer.

A judge ruled that Davis violated the terms of his house arrest (a 90-day sentence), so he served the remainder in jail before he was released July 14. The punishment was meted down after Davis pleaded guilty in May 2023 to four counts stemming from a November 2020 hit-and-run crash that injured four people, including a pregnant woman.

The jail stint followed Davis' career-best performance, a seventh-round TKO of Ryan Garcia in the April 2023 superfight that generated over 1 million pay-per-view buys.

"I think I'm much more smarter than I was when I fought Ryan, only because of the things I went through in life," Davis, 29, told ESPN recently. "I feel as though it matured me, as a man, as a person. And I think it will help in boxing. ... I think I'll be much better than I was before. ... Extremely happy to have all that bulls--- behind me. I'm happy to be back in the boxing world. ... Just excited to be back in the mix."

Davis' comeback is being presented as the 100th championship fight night at Las Vegas' famed MGM Grand Garden Arena, the same venue that hosted the revenue-record-setting 2015 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout along with dozens of the sport's marquee fights.

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) was formerly aligned with Mayweather's eponymous promotional company. The pair has since had a public falling out, with Davis and Mayweather taunting each other on social media. Mayweather has made repeated false claims that Davis' fight with Martin was canceled and did so again Thursday evening.

That same night, Mayweather announced that former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer would assume that same role with Mayweather Promotions, replacing Leonard Ellerbe, who accompanied Davis at Wednesday's news conference.

In a since-deleted X post, Davis called Mayweather a "bitter b----."

Davis, ESPN's No. 7 pound-for-pound boxer, is a -750 favorite to defeat Martin at ESPN BET. Martin, ESPN's No. 5 lightweight, is challenging for his first world title and will do so against a man who feels rejuvenated after his experience outside the ring last summer.

"I'm strong, and I could get through anything," Davis said. "... I'm a fighter, so sometimes I might come off cocky. But for the most part, I'll be trying to be humble and take advantage of my situation in a good way and try my best to stay out of damn trouble."