Keyshawn Davis doesn’t think he is far from fighting for a lightweight world title.

The driven Davis will fight for just the eighth time as a professional Saturday night, when he’ll match up against Anthony Yigit in the first 10-rounder of Davis’ two-year pro career at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The highly regarded Davis nevertheless believes he is ready for a championship challenge.

“Ideally, if I can get what I want I would like to fight for a world title in my next fight,” Davis told “I want a world title this year for sure.”

Despite that he has only fought in eight-rounders thus far, the WBO has ranked Davis 10th among its 135-pound contenders. Davis (7-0, 5 KOs), of Norfolk, Virginia, also is rated 14th by the IBF.

Shakur Stevenson, Davis’ close friend and mentor, is in a better position to fight for a lightweight title if he defeats Japan’s Shuichiro Yoshino in ESPN’s main event Saturday night. The third-ranked Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), a Newark native, and the fourth-ranked Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs) will compete in a 12-round WBC elimination match to determine the WBC’s mandatory challenger for the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko winner May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

If the favored Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) beats Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs), he might move up to the 140-pound division for his following fight. If Haney wins and relinquishes his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts, Davis’ goal of fighting for a lightweight title by the end of this year could become more realistic.

Regardless, the 24-year-old Davis will encounter an experienced opponent in Yigit (26-2-1, 10 KOs). The Swedish southpaw has lost only to Ivan Baranchyk and Rolly Romero, both of whom were undefeated when they beat Yigit.

Russia’s Baranchyk (then 18-0) stopped Yigit, whose left eye was swollen shut when their October 2018 fight for Baranchyk’s IBF junior welterweight title was halted after the seventh round at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. North Las Vegas’ Romero (then 13-0) dropped Yigit twice, once apiece in the fifth and seventh rounds, on his way to a seventh-round, technical-knockout victory in July 2021 at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Yigit has beaten two overmatched opponents by knockout since Romero stopped him. Davis shut out Mexican veteran Juan Carlos Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs) on all three scorecards in his last fight, an eight-rounder December 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

FanDuel sportsbook has installed Davis as a 16-1 favorite to defeat Yigit in the opener of ESPN’s three-bout broadcast (10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT).

“In the sport of boxing, I don’t take nobody lightly because it’s a fight at the end of the day,” Davis said. “Whatever challenge he gonna bring, I’m just gonna find out in the ring. Really, to me, this is just another fight.”

The 31-year-old Yigit replaced Davis’ original opponent, Emmanuel Tagoe, late in February. Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) agreed to fight the 2021 Olympic silver medalist, but the Ghanian veteran withdrew before he signed a contract.

“I feel like they’re all kind of the same,” Davis said. “I feel like Tagoe has great footwork. With me, I feel like both of them are gonna do a lot of running. One is southpaw, one is orthodox, but they have a lot of experience. I don’t feel like there’s a big difference between those two. I just wanna go in there and put on a great performance.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.