FLOYD MAYWEATHER’S protégé Gervonta Davis was taken into the trenches ahead of his spot on the Conor McGregor undercard by rising British star Asinia Byfield.
The Reading star won a thrilling Southern Area super-welterweight title defence over Sam McNess at the Copper Box in July, that was sadly marred by crowd trouble.
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But he swiftly swapped Berkshire for the Dog House – Mayweather’s fearsome gym where he and Davis, nicknamed Tank, go to war.
The IBF super-featherweight champion – billed as mini-Mike Tyson for his bulldog build and viciousness – is set to face Roman Martinez on the billion-dollar August 26 show.
But he got no change out of the 13-1 UK star who’s outrageous switch-hitting style and willingness to enter the fray impressed the ringside 49-0 legend.
On the trip with his Hellraiser Boxing team, Byfield revealed: “We got to the gym and it turned out Gervonta was on his way down looking for a sparring partner because no one else wanted to spar him.
“I saw my opportunity and put it on him straight away and Mayweather came in while I was warming up around the corner.
“Mayweather said: ‘come here man, you want to spar? You really want to spar?’
“I think he thought he was going to do me so he got someone else to split the rounds.
“He started slow, first 3-4 rounds I had him, I was out-boxing him and landing good shots, moving and making him miss.
“In the fifth it got excited and he landed about six big shots. He hits hard.
“I took one with ease but then he landed the next four or five.”
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By lasting the opening rounds Byfield improved on the efforts previously undefeated Liam Walsh who was destroyed by Davis inside three rounds of their May clash.
Davis toyed with the Norfolk hardman before unleashing a ferocious selection of shots that had referee Michael Alexander diving in.
Just before his final attack, Davis was obviously goading and taunting the Englishman, a trait he has clearly picked up from the brutal Las Vegas gym he grafts at.
And, in sparring Byfield, there were even illegal shots exchanged when Mayweather announced the brutal ‘dog-house rules’ where anything goes and gruelling rounds have been filmed going as long as 31 minutes.
Describing the second half of the session, Byfield said: “He tried to take me out and came out strong but I realised he was a waiting for the first two minutes and not doing anything.
“Floyd started giving it, saying ‘UK talk as always’ so I started calling him The One Minute Man.
“I heard Mayweather tell him ‘take this round off’ so I did the same and won it with small punches .
“I knew they would do it to me but I knew my heart would not let me down.
“It got the next round and everyone is clapping, everyone was going mad.
“In the eighth or ninth they called ‘Dog-House Rules’ but I barely had anything in my punches.
“Fair play to him his punches were sharp.
“In one of the rounds he let me have about 10 seconds rest, I turned around and he was in my face throwing punches.
“When it went inside it was dirty, he was punching my legs and the top of my head.
“I thought ‘two came play that game’ and I held his down and hit a couple of uppercuts. It was dirty, it was dog-house.”
Despite the dirty tricks, Byfield can’t wait to get back in the mix with the 22-year-old with the incredible Baltimore backstory to rival any episode of The Wire.
The walking, trash-talking highlight reel has left the card of his manager Mickey Helliet with the Money Man team and offered up his services for any future camps.
The man known as D’Ghost said: “My experience has shot-up tremendously.
“I left my number and told them ‘that was good for you guys, give my manager Mickey a call and any time he is in camp give me a call.’.
“We did dog-house rules and I was slipping and grabbing and messing him up, hitting him with light shots and getting on his nerves. I was laughing and hitting him. It was great experience.
“I wanted to go through something like that and that’s what I came here for.
“I could spend the whole rest of the trip partying after that but I am going to keep my head down, focus and see who else I can go with.”
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