Southpaw ace Shakur Stevenson firmly believes the only way he’ll ever get a fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis is if Davis initiates the interest.

Stevenson, the two-division titlist and current lightweight contender from Newark, New Jersey, said in a recent interview that the fight he wants the most is one involving Baltimore’s Davis.

But Stevenson, 26, also made it clear that he is not in a position to call the shots or even propose such a fight, given Davis’ vastly superior commercial profile. Stevenson and Davis, moreover, are backed by rival business entities; Stevenson is promoted by Top Rank, while Davis is advised by Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions.

Davis, 28, is arguably the biggest American boxing draw in the sport, outside of Canelo Alvarez. The Baltimore native has exclusively headlined pay-per-view cards for the last several years. Davis’ last fight, a seventh-round stoppage of Ryan Garcia, was his commercially biggest one to date.

“Honestly, number one [fight for me] is Tank,” Stevenson said on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast. “Me and Tank is the best fight. You can name 15 other fighters, but there’s one fight that, truthfully, needs to happen in boxing.”

“I don’t know,” Stevenson said when asked why that particular fight has not been made. “I can’t tell you. I’m not Tank, at the end of the day. I’m a real n-----. I’mma tell you the truth. I’m not Tank. He’s the big star. He’s the pay-per-view star. I can’t throw no offers to Tank. Who am I to throw an offer to the biggest star in boxing? What am I going to offer him? It don’t make sense. That would have to be on their part, on their team to want to do that.

“I want to do that. I would love that fight. I think that’s the best fight in boxing, if we speaking skills-wise. He’s not gonna tell y’all that because however he be thinking the way that he think. But me, truthfully, I think that’s the best fight in boxing and I want to prove to the world who I truly am.”

Stevenson (is reportedly set to take on Dominican contender Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC 135-pound title Nov. 16 in Las Vegas. Stevenson was originally headed into a showdown with Frank Martin but Martin, after agreeing to a deal, pulled out of the fight at the 11th hour. Martin has not given a rationale for his abrupt decision.

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) was recently released from a Baltimore jail after serving 44 days due to a violation of the terms of his house arrest. Davis pleaded guilty in May to several counts from a hit-and-run in November 2020 that left four people injured, including a pregnant woman.

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.