Tevin Farmer defends his IBF super featherweight title on Thursday, Jan. 30, against Jojo Diaz ahead of the Super Bowl, but feud with Gervonta Davis lingers.
IBF super featherweight Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defends his title for the fifth time against Jojo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs) on Thursday, Jan. 30 on DAZN. Diaz is arguably the toughest test of Farmer’s career, but obstacles are nothing new for Farmer.
Don’t let the four losses on Farmer’s record fool you. He’s more talented than his record indicates. Farmer’s boxing journey didn’t begin until he was 19-years-old. His early path was unguided, and he was left to sink or swim on his own. His four losses were a result of trying to learn how to survive in the cut-throat sport of boxing on his own.
“It cost me four losses,” described Farmer to FanSided. “It’s not like I was around boxing before and then started and already knew things. I wasn’t even around boxing. I just started it.”
Luckily for Farmer, the pieces fell into place. He connected with a dedicated manager after his last loss to Jose Pedraza in 2012. Farmer went on a spree and began winning fights with ease. He built up his reputation from the bottom up and found stability in boxing. Then, 2017 happened and threatened to derail the career he worked so hard to forge.
In April of 2017, Farmer tore his left bicep in a bout with Arturo Santos Reyes. He fought with one arm for a majority of the fight and still managed to win a unanimous decision. Farmer’s misfortune continued three months later.
Following a confrontation with another individual at a family function, a gun was drawn, and Farmer was shot through his right hand. Doctors didn’t think he would ever box again.
“They [doctors] told me that every time I punch my hand will have a pain in it that I will have to deal with,” said Farmer. “I learned how to tolerate it. I tolerate it. I’ve got nerve damage on two of my fingers.
“I learned to work around it. I’ve always had bad hands since the beginning of my career. Both of my hands are bad, actually, but these dudes can’t beat me.”
Throughout the injuries and setbacks, Farmer has remained focused and driven. He’s in a good place now, and Diaz is a formidable opponent. Super Bowl weekend is on the horizon, but Farmer is looking to defend his title in style while in Miami before the 49ers and Chiefs take the field.
While talking about Diaz, Farmer was reserved and concentrated on the upcoming fight.
“I just train my butt off and make fights look easy,” said Farmer. “I just hope he [Diaz] comes to give me a good fight.”
Looking at Farmer’s résumé, it has some of the better depth in the division. He has wins over Jono Carroll, Francisco Fonseca, and Billy Dib. Despite the healthy list of opposition, Farmer doesn’t garner the accolades of a Miguel Berchelt or Leo Santa Cruz. Farmer sees that as a slight and has an explanation for this occurrence.
“We’re in the boxing business where a name matters,” explained Farmer. “It don’t matter how old someone is. For instance, Miguel Berchelt goes and fights an old Francisco Vargas, and I fight a hungry Jono Carroll. Young, strong. He will probably get more credit because the guy’s named Vargas, but in reality, Vargas is an easier fight than Jono Carroll. Same with Gervonta Davis and [Yuriorkis] Gamboa. He may get more credit for Gamboa than I might get for Jojo Diaz. In reality, Jojo Diaz is a harder fight than Gamboa.”
Davis knocked out Gamboa in round 12 of their December 2019 bout, but it wasn’t Davis’s most impressive outing. Gamboa tore his Achilles tendon in round 2 and lasted until the 12th round. Davis and Farmer have never fought, but their names have been linked for years, but not in a good way. Bad blood exists between the two.
“This has been going on for six years, since 2014,” recalled Farmed. “I guess somebody said they wanted to see us fight. This was before when he was nobody before he signed with Floyd [Mayweather]. He wasn’t signed with nobody. I guess somebody wrote that they wanted to see us fight. I didn’t know who the hell he was for real at the time. I guess he wrote back on Twitter. I left it alone, though. I didn’t know who he was. I was more popular at the time. He was nobody.
“He said something like, ‘we can make that happen,’ or something like that. It all started from there.”
The back and forth talk through social media and the press has existed ever since. In May of last year, the Twitter feud between Farmer and Davis erupted. Davis made things personal by calling Farmer a derogatory term, and Farmer offered a retort. Davis took it to another level when he said we would try to kill Farmer if they ever fight.
Farmer isn’t sweating Davis, though. He’s confident that if they ever fight, he has what it takes to best the undefeated WBA lightweight champion.
“No, there’s going to be a big difference,” said Farmer when comparing his work ethic to Davis’s. “My skills alone are just better than him. My work ethic is better than his. Mentally, I’m stronger than him. I beat him all around.”
There’s no doubt that fans want to see Farmer vs. Davis, but Farmer needs to get past and elite Diaz first, which is far from guaranteed. After the Diaz fight, Farmer has plenty to keep himself busy before he makes his next move in boxing.
Farmer is highly invested in real estate, has a growing YouTube channel, and recently launched a clothing line called “Never.” Farmer sees a lot of parallels between his clothing line and his boxing career.
“With clothes, I’m at the bottom,” said Farmer. “It gives me that spark and makes me remember all the work I had to put in to get to where I’m at in boxing.
“‘Never.’ It basically stands for ‘never too late.’ ‘Never give up.’ Never is a broad word.”
Farmer embodies the spirit of Never clothing. He hasn’t given up on his dreams and is a world champion because of his perseverance.
You can watch Farmer vs. Diaz on DAZN on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. ET.