With No Belt On The Line, Gervonta Davis Knocks Out Ryan Garcia With A Vicious Body Punch

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 23: Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

By Ron Harris

Las Vegas, Nevada – Rarely, if ever, is the so-called fight of the year, a non-title fight.  But, in Las Vegas on Saturday night, the Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia was just that.  The fight contracted at the catch weight of 136 lbs. A lightweight championship fight is fought at 135 lbs.   It was an event to see who was the best man.  That simple.  With a crowd of 20,842 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and many celebrities in attendance, Davis (29-0) landed a paralyzing left-handed body shot that took Garcia out.  Garcia (23-1) took the punch and 5 seconds later took a knee.  He clearly looked at referee Thomas Taylor count to 8, then 9 and after trying to get up, Taylor waved the fight over at the time of 1:44 in round 7.  It was Davis’s 27th KO in his 29 pro fights.  That KO percentage does not tell the story of how Davis, 28, is an excellent boxer with defensive skills, head movement and ring smarts. 

Garcia started off fast and won the first round on all judge’s cards.  In round 2, Garcia stayed on the attack with long punches and the shorter Davis got underneath a Garcia left and connected flush on Garcia’s face with a left hand and knocked him down.  From that point, “King” Garcia, 24, was a different fighter.  “Yeah, I fought different after the knock down.  I gave him too much respect.  I should have cornered him near the ropes,” said Garcia. 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 23: CAPTION at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Davis predicted a 7th round knockout.  “I was just talking, trying to get in his head,” says Davis, known as “Tank”.  “I never know what is going to happen until I get in the ring.  I found out that skill wise, it was unmatched.”  As for the second-round knockdown, Davis says, “It was his placement.  He didn’t know where he was.  My coach told me in camp that he leaves his head up and to throw my left and I would catch him.  I am the much smarter fighter.”  The sad thing about the sport of boxing is that one judge scored the second-round knockdown, 10-10 and the others scored it 10-9.  All clean knockdowns are scored 10-8 nearly 100 percent of the time.  So far this year, boxing judges are not having a good season. 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 23: Gervonta Davis vs Ryan Garcia at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Davis is truly the king of boxing.  Once again, he sold out a 20,000-seat arena.  He is averaging close to 16,000 fans in each of his fights.  The Baltimore native has had some out of the ring issues, but it never affects him in the ring. His punches, although not in bunches, are accurate and his power is unquestioned.   The shot to Garcia’s kidneys was a perfect punch.  Both fighters were engaging, and Davis got lower than Garcia and dug a left-handed punch that Garcia never saw.  Garcia peddled back and went to his knee as blood trickled out of his nose.  “I can’t say much.  I couldn’t move.  I thought I could get up, but I couldn’t breathe,” recalls Garcia, who had not fought in 8 months anticipating this fight with Davis and not wanting to take a tune up fight. “I am a good fighter but Tank is a great fighter, It was an honor to be in the ring with a great fighter.  I respect him a lot,” says Garcia.  

It is hard to see any fighter in the 135 or 140 range that can beat Davis. Devin Haney, maybe.  His fans hope that he gets past his legal troubles.  Some experts said this fight would save boxing.  Who knows.  Boxing has been given a death sentence many times in the past and it still stands tall with events like this one. 

Photo Credit:  Ester Lin

About Ron Harris

Ron Harris, retired college administrator, coach, broadcaster, Internet and TV sports producer and host. Former radio host of a live call-in show.  Extremely close to the sports landscape in the Washington, DC metro area. Former radio sports reporter, covering MLB, college sports, major boxing events and much more.


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