Davis gets KO win over Romero, defends WBA title

The crowd of 18,970 at the Barclays Center was in an uproar as they witnessed three-division world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis defeat previously unbeaten Rolando Romero by 6th round knockout. It is the 25th knockout victory of Davis’s career, as he successfully defended the WBA lightweight title for the third time. It also was the third appearance for Davis at the Barclays Center, as he defeated Jose Pedraza in 2017 and Jose Cuellar in 2018.

Davis and Romero had built up a rivalry of sorts as they were talking trash to each other leading into the bout. However, the first round was more of a feeling out process as they both wanted to see what the other fighter was going to do. The tentativeness started to wear off after that as Romero started to throw more punches to start the second round. Midway through the round, a combination by Romero backed Davis up on the ropes which was followed by clinching and Davis going to the canvas. However, that was caused by Romero pushing him down when they were in close quarters. Romero was leading the pace for the majority of the round until Davis landed a lead left hand to pause his momentum.

Gervonta Davis taunts Rolando Romero after the end of the first round in their bout at the Barclays Center. Photo by James Bell

As Davis got more comfortable with the pace of the fight, he started to time his counter shots and land effectively on Romero. By the end of the third round Davis saw the jab of Romero coming and came back with a left hook and was attempting to land shots to the body. By the fifth round Davis continued the strategy of getting to the body of Romero by throwing lead left hands. He continued to land left hands until midway through the round but got caught with a right hand by Romero before the round ended. In the sixth round Romero kept coming forward throwing the jab as Davis was moving around the ring and trying to counter, which ended up being successful as he was able to bait Romero into coming towards him in a neutral corner. A left hand that landed flush on Romero sent him to the canvas, and referee David Fields waived off the bout with 11 seconds left in the round.

“The crazy thing is that I didn’t even throw it that hard,” Davis said after the fight. “He just ran into it. Something like when Manny Pacquiao got caught. I didn’t even throw it that hard and he’s the one who ran into it, when he was talking that it was going to be me.”

Davis had pointed out that Romero was showing his signs of strength during the fight but was patient enough to land the shot that put Romero down.

“He was strong for sure but there were a couple shots that I was getting warmed up with and he caught me and I was like, ‘I can’t sit with him just yet.'” Davis said. “I know when to take it to my opponents and when to chill out. There was someone in the crowd and they were telling me to press forward and I was like, not yet. I got to loosen him up a little more.”

Romero felt like he was doing great up until that point, with the mistake of coming forward in the sixth being his downfall.

“I exposed him and won every single round,” Romero said. “I jumped into something and ate a stupid shot. I want to fight (Davis) again.”

While Romero was campaigning for a rematch, Davis was appreciative of the support at the Barclays Center.

“We did it again in New York City baby,” said Davis. “Thank you New York City. I won my first belt here and it was great to come back to Brooklyn and do it again.”

Cover photo by James Bell


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