LAS VEGAS – Gervonta “Tank” Davis methodically broke down and stopped “King” Ryan Garcia in the 7th round of their bout at the T-Mobile Arena in front of a sold out crowd of 20,842 people. It was an eventful bout which had a number of moments for both fighters. At the start of the fight, Garcia started aggressively and seemed to fluster Davis with fast combinations and smothering Davis in the ropes. It forced the Baltimore native to tie up Garcia, but Garcia broke away and threw a few power shots of his own. In the second round Garcia attempted to get Davis flustered with his hand speed, but a counter left hand but Garcia down to the canvas.
Garcia recovered from that shot, but his activity diminished in the later rounds as he was reluctant to throw multiple shots as he was anticipating the counter from Davis. As a result, Davis took his time to land punches that affected the 24-year-old fighter from Los Angeles that ranged from jabs to body shots. According to Compubox punch statistics, Davis connected on 34% of his punches with a majority of them to the body. It started to show in the 6th round as Garcia started bleeding from the nose.
The calculated attack from Davis continued in the seventh round despite Garcia attempting to get back in the fight with power shots. A response to Garcia throwing a left hand was the body shot that eventually put Garcia to one knee in a neutral corner. Referee Thomas Taylor started the count, but Garcia could not get up from Davis’s punch before Taylor reached the count of ten.
With this knockout victory, Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) has scored three consecutive stoppage wins and has one of the highest knockout ratios in boxing. He talked about the first knockdown and how that set the stage for the eventual knockout.
“The first knockdown was just him not knowing his placement,” Davis said. “I knew that I was the smaller guy, and my coach was telling me in camp that he’s going to come up with his head up, so just shoot over the top.”
Davis was surprised that the body shot in the seventh round ended the fight. “I didn’t think that body shot would end it, but I saw his facial expression and that’s what made me take it to him,” he said. “I thought he was going to get up but I like to play mind games, so when he was looking at me, I was looking at him trying to tell him, ‘get up!’ And he just shook his head, no.”
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) felt that his mistake was that he didn’t increase the pressure on Davis when he had the momentum early in the fight.
“I think I should have pressured him a little harder near the ropes,” Garcia said after the fight. “I was giving him a little bit too much respect and I think that was my downfall.”
While Ryan Garcia will think about what went wrong in his fight against Gervonta Davis, the unbeaten fighter still has options as the WBA lightweight champion made a statement with the win. Davis was asked if he is the new face of the sport, and he had a direct answer.
Photos by James Bell of The Boxing Source