Kyrone Davis has a lofty goal.

First, however, he must upset undefeated middleweight contender Elijah Garcia, an undercard fight on the Tim Tszyu-Sebastian Fundora card March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

But if all goes well next weekend, Davis then expects to challenge for a world title.

Davis (18-3, 6 KOs) has seen his career pulled in many different ways. Although he considers his optimal weight class to be middleweight, Davis, 29, has contested three of his five bouts since 2021 at super middleweight or above.

Lately, he has been taking fights on late notice and making do with what he can. That approach has led to a draw with former world champion Anthony Dirrell and a stoppage loss to David Benavidez, in which Davis took the fight on two weeks’ notice and fared well before the sudden finish.

Tough breaks have been the story of Davis’ career. Now, however, he sees a big opportunity to fulfill his potential and legacy, starting with Garcia.

“The middleweight division has always been one of the biggest in the sport,” Davis said. “There’s no clear ace of the division right now. The lane to supremacy is open. It’s exciting that either one of us could possibly take over.”

The assessment is a sound one. Since Saul “Canelo” Alvarez stepped away from the division and Gennadiy Golovkin walked off into the sunset, no fighter has staked a legitimate claim to the division. Janibek Alimkhanuly carries to division straps, but he is struggling to make compelling matchups. Erislandy Lara and Carlos Adames, who each hold a middleweight belt, have been frustratingly inactive. When titleholders don’t fight, divisions get stuck.

“After I win this fight – and I am going to win – I’m looking for Erislandy Lara, Carlos Adames or anyone who’s got a strap,” Davis said.

First things first: At age 20, Garcia (16-0, 13 KOs) isn’t even old enough to legally buy a beer in the U.S. – yet he represents a serious threat. If Davis hopes to fend off the label of gatekeeper, he must be ready to make a stand against a young, hyped fighter considered to have a bright future.

“The opportunity to fight on this stage excites me,” Davis said. “We’re taking Garcia seriously. He’s a force. But there’s a big difference between this and what I’ve faced going into other fights. It’s a different mindset, and we’re preparing for whatever could come up.”

Davis has pulled off upsets in the past. In 2017, he outlasted Marcos Hernandez in a split decision in Nice, California. Can he defy expectations again? 

“Absolutely,” he said. “We want to get the world title fight next. That’s why we’re taking this fight. We’re right where we need to be. With the eyes on this fight, I can reach my ultimate goal – and that’s fighting for the title.”