Coral Gables

State Considers Upgrading Boxing Champ's Charge To Felony

One of the women undefeated lightweight champion Gervonta Davis is accused of committing misdemeanor battery against claims a permanent injury, which could allow the state to upgrade his charge to a felony.

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A Super Bowl weekend charity basketball event last year in Coral Gables turned ugly when an altercation broke out between a world champion boxer and two women.

Now the boxer, Gervonta "Tank" Davis, could be facing a more serious charge.

Davis, 26, of Baltimore, is WBA world lightweight champion, having won all 24 of his fights, 23 of them by knockout.

It was more like a draw in Miami-Dade County Court Thursday, as the prosecutor announced the state would not be going ahead with a plea deal, as had been discussed.

"The state is not ready at this time," said assistant state attorney Natalie Mendez. "The state has just received new information which requires further investigation in order to offer any plea."

That new information was a doctor’s report finding that one of Davis’ victims, Pearl Rojo, suffered permanent hearing damage from what she alleges was a punch to the head by Davis.

Coral Gables police say it happened Feb. 1, 2020, after video shows Davis walking along the basketball court endline toward a courtside seat where the mother of one of his children was sitting.

Watch surveillance video showing the incident that led to world boxing champion Gervonta Davis being charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery. One of the victims Pearl Rojo, now claims permanent injury and her attorney is urging prosecutors to elevate one of the counts to felony aggravated battery. Video courtesy Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

On a video posted to social media by a spectator, as well as surveillance video reviewed by the NBC 6 Investigators, Davis appears to grab the woman in the neck area, lift her out of her seat and push her toward a VIP room at that end of the court.

Rojo, an event planner who was working the event, quickly followed and can be heard on video she recorded trying to make peace.

"Hey stop it, stop it. ya’all chill ... out," she said. "Ya'all chill."

But video from inside the room shows an altercation during which, Rojo said, Davis punched his former girlfriend "directly in her face (and) blood came out of her mouth. I stood there in shock and she was screaming and crying and I kind of felt bad for her. I felt nobody was doing anything and I kind of felt the need to help."

Instead, she said, Davis struck her on the side o fthe head.

"Guy punches me on the side of the ear," she said, "and I remember hearing a loud 'ahhhh' just kept going with the pain. It was pretty much kind of unbearable. He had rage in his eyes."

Now, more than a year later, she and her doctor say the effects of the blow remain, according to the report her attorney forwarded to the state attorney's office.

"The constant buzzing, popping sound, like ringing like you know when you hit a bell, and kind of like that 'gong,'" she described. "That’s literally what it feels like almost all the time."

And that is why her attorney, Mark NeJame, says the state should upgrade Davis’ charge to a felony, aggravated battery. It carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison, versus up to one year on the misdemeanor battery charge.

 "Apparently they're listening and we hope they are because a misdemeanor in this case would be a complete gross miscarriage of justice," Nejame said.

Davis allegedly battering women is bad enough, they said.

But, also, "I think what’s sad is that I’ve never seen a man so violently hit a woman and men just stand there," said Rojo. "I think it was sick for that many men just to sit there and she was by herself. It's like they were protecting him."

The allegations, NeJame added, are "all the more compounded by a person who makes their living with their hands and knocking people out with that same fist.

Davis' attorney, Corey Hoffman, declined all comment.

As did Davis' former girlfriend, Andretta Smothers.

She and Rojo are listed as the two victims in what is, for now, a two-count charging document alleging Davis committed misdemeanor battery.

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