Gervonta Davis knocked out Ryan Garcia with a withering frame shot within the 7th around in their eagerly awaited summit assembly on Saturday night time, handing over a signature efficiency within the yr’s maximum expected battle that conferred his standing because the face of American boxing.
The 28-year-old three-division champion from Baltimore despatched Garcia to the ground in the second one around earlier than completing him off within the 7th with an excellent uppercut to the ribs earlier than a sellout crowd of 20,842 on the T-Mobile Arena alongside the Las To set up Vegas Strip.
“I’m definitely the face of boxing,” Davis mentioned. “Absolutely.”
The showdown between two unbeaten American knockout artists early of their primes, represented via warring corporations and broadcasters, was once one of the crucial largest suits which may be made in boxing nowadays. It controlled to are living as much as the substantial hype.
No titles have been at the line within the scheduled 12-round bout, which came about at a catchweight of 136lbs, however the stakes may just rarely were upper. Davis strikes ahead as the game’s largest megastar within the United States with the entire advantages, bragging rights and incomes attainable that involves, at the same time as he faces the possibility of prison time stemming from a November 2020 hit-and-run in not up to two weeks’ time.
“I remember coming up in the Golden Gloves and seeing [Floyd Mayweather Jr] fight at the MGM,” Davis said. “It was crazy. I actually just saw Rihanna perform at the Super Bowl, and I thought that’s going to be me one day. And we’re here.”
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) was fast out of his corner from the opening bell, throwing jabs and straights to the head and body. Davis, a southpaw endowed with concussive power in both hands known for overcoming quiet starts with a patient, stalking style, barely threw a punch in the first three minutes while taking his opponent’s measure.
Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) appeared to be hurt early in the second as Garcia landed a combination along the ropes that whipped the audience into a frenzy. But that’s when Davis caught his foe with a punishing counter left against the run of play that dumped Garcia to the seat of his trunks.
“I thought I had hurt him pretty much to be honest,” Garcia said. “But that’s what I get. I was impatient and I got caught. I ran into an overhand left.
Garcia appeared sturdy after beating the count, made it to the bell and continued to press to open the third round undeterred, but he was that much more hesitant after tasting Davis’s power. By the fourth, Davis was backing up Garcia steadily in a complete reversal from the opening frame. His unpredictable array of feints kept Garcia off balance and tentative into the fifth and sixth, where the gulf in skill and experience between the pair became more evident.
Then came the seventh, where Davis landed a straight left hand to the ribs in the center of the ring that sent Garcia reeling backward and down to one knee. Garcia stayed there as referee Thomas Taylor picked up the 10-count, then waved it off when Garcia didn’t make it to his feet in time.
“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,” Davis said. “It was a good shot, for sure. 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.”
Davis has moved the needle like few other American boxers in recent memory, winning belts at 126lbs, 130lbs and 135lbs while selling out arenas from coast to coast. But while the Marylander’s professional resume held up better to close scrutiny, the plain fact was each man was still in search of a signature win and will be in with the best opponent of his career on Saturday night. It was a risky proposition for both men and one that paid off handsomely for Davis.
“I know we talked a lot of trash leading into the fight, but (Davis) knows what it is,” Garcia said. “It’s all love at the end of the day. I was honored to be in the ring with a great fighter and I respect him a lot.”
Davis’s victory could set the stage for a lightweight showdown with Devin Haney, who holds all four major title belts at 135lbs and faces Vasiliy Lomachenko next month. But his immediate future is up in the air after entering a guilty plea in a Baltimore circuit court to four counts stemming from a hit-and-run crash in November 2020 that left four people hospitalized, including a pregnant woman. After the judge overseeing the case rejected a plea deal that would have allowed him to serve 60 days of unsupervised home detention, Davis faces the real prospect of jail time at his sentencing on May 5.
For now, Davis can bask in the glow of his career-best win.
“The reality definitely matches the dream,” Davis said. “But the job is never done until I retire so I’m going to keep my head down, stay humble and continue to work.”