Gervonta Davis was considered one of the sport’s hardest hitters before his fight with Ryan Garcia on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As a result, Davis knocked Garcia out 1:44 into the seventh round with a blow to the ribcage.
However, it was not power that propelled Davis to victory. His boxing ability, ring IQ, and ability to capitalize on Garcia’s mistakes propelled him to a dramatic win in their highly anticipated 136-pound fight.
Garcia overextended in the second, blasting a right at Davis just when things appeared to be going Garcia’s way. Davis slipped the punch and unleashed a wonderfully placed counter left hook in the middle of Garcia’s face, knocking him out.
Davis, who did little to nothing in the first round as he just measured Garcia, took over the fight after that. He closed the distance expertly, battled at angles where he could land his strikes, neutralize Garcia’s feared left hook, and simply collect more points.
He has immense power, but he is more than just a showman. He’s undoubtedly a top-tier boxer.
He predicted a seventh-round finish and then delivered, upsetting those who bet the over. The over-under was 7.5 rounds and the bout ended just short of that mark.
Davis admitted there was no magic to the seventh-round prediction, but there was plenty of charm to his work in the ring.
“It was me just trying to get into his head, you know,” Davis said. “I really don’t know. But once I got in there with him, I felt skill-wise, it would be all me.”
And largely, it was. Judges had Davis up by scores of 58-56, 59-56, and 59-55, while Yahoo Sports had it 57-56 for Davis.
Davis finished with a shot that few saw. He dug beneath Garcia’s right arm and struck him in the ribcage with a left. Garcia backed up toward the corner but did not fall at first. He took a knee after taking another step back. Garcia appeared calm as he received the count from referee Thomas Taylor, but he didn’t try to rise until Taylor had counted 10.
“He caught me with a good shot,” Garcia said. “[I will make] no excuses in here. I just couldn’t recover. That’s it. That’s all I have to say. He caught me with a good body shot.”
When asked if he was having trouble breathing, Garcia gave a perplexing response.
“I’m not saying anything but yeah, I couldn’t breathe,” he said. “I was going to get back up but I couldn’t.”
Thus concluded the most significant combat of 2023 thus far. It established Davis as one of boxing’s top stars. It demonstrated that, while Garcia is a phenomenal talent, he needs to fight more frequently to develop into a fully developed product.
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