BALTIMORE -- The state dropped a felony first-degree assault charge against boxer Gervonta Davis at a hearing Thursday morning in Baltimore District Court, but he will stand trial Nov. 29 on a misdemeanor second-degree assault charge.
Davis, 22, appeared at the hearing that lasted less than five minutes, but declined an interview request afterward. A second-degree assault charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years and/or a $2,500 fine.
He faced the charges in connection with an Aug. 1 incident in which a self-described childhood friend, Anthony Wheeler of Baltimore, alleged that Davis punched him in the side of the head with a gloved fist.
Police did not charge Davis. Wheeler pressed charges with the District Court Commissioner on Aug. 3, and a warrant for Davis was served in mid-September. The boxer was released after posting a $100,000 unsecured property bond, according to court records.
In his complaint, Wheeler said he was standing by innocently at the Upton Boxing Center in West Baltimore when a fight broke out between Davis and his brother. Wheeler alleged that after the boxer's bodyguard broke up the altercation, Davis wheeled around and "sucker punched me very violently."
Wheeler said he was knocked out and subsequently diagnosed with a concussion at St. Agnes Hospital.
The alleged incident came at the beginning of a tumultuous month for Davis, who was stripped of his IBF junior-lightweight title after he failed to make the 130-pound weight limit for his fight on the undercard of the Aug. 26 showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
Davis still moved to 19-0, beating Francisco Fonseca by an eighth-round knockout. But he did not look sharp, and fans booed him after the fight.
Recently on social media, he has said he hopes to fight early in 2018 and to recapture his title as soon as possible.
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