The news we’ve all been waiting for broke last Thursday. The announcement of Gervonta “Tank” Davis versus Ryan Garcia was made official for the first quarter of 2023. However, Davis fans won’t have to wait that long, as it was also announced he’d be taking a “tune-up” fight on Jan.7 at the Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C., versus Hector Luis Garcia.
Luis Garcia (16-0-0, 10 KOs) has had a notable 2022. As a short-notice replacement, he stepped in to replace WBA super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez against Chris Colbert after Gutierrez was sidelined due to a positive COVID test. And although he entered the bout with Colbert as a +1100 underdog at sportsbooks, Luis Garcia outclassed his opponent to win a unanimous decision.
Luis, a 2016 Olympian, received a title opportunity against Gutierrez for his commendable performance. Then, the underdog did the unthinkable again, but he won the championship this time. However, we must note Garcia’s victory arrived because Gutierrez spent the first eight rounds playing around and failed to deliver much output. When the corner Gutierrez threatened their fighter with stopping the fight, he returned to the center of the ring and dominated for the final four rounds. However, it was too little, too late, as Garcia took the decision win.
From a relatively unknown fighter to fighting the biggest star in the lightweight division within two fights is impressive. With that said, Davis is an entirely different beast, and we should expect Luis to enter this bout as a significant betting underdog yet again. The Maryland native won’t allow Luis to shock the crowds this time, and bettors will likely need some Maryland sportsbook promo codes to boost the value of Gervonta’s moneyline price.
Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) vacated the title that Garcia eventually won and will now defend against the man who holds his old strap. Davis only managed to compete once in 2022, with a sixth-round stoppage against Rolando Romero back in May. The fight was peculiar, to say the least, as Romero was winning on the scorecards after outboxing Davis, but an eventual left-hand bomb ended the challenger’s night.
Davis vs. Ryan Garcia: The Garcia fans really want to see
While Luis Garcia shares the same surname, Ryan Garcia versus Davis is the actual fight announcement that’s garnered the most attention this week.
To begin with, critics smiled at the callouts from Ryan Garcia and laughed at his desire to face Davis. His skills are respected, but most believed he was no match for the power puncher from Baltimore. Yet, despite the raised eyebrows and the advice to keep his distance from Davis, Garcia has continued to call out the lightweight brute.
And now, after years of callouts and mocking comments, Davis has decided to take the fight.
Both teams have agreed on terms, a deal is made, and we’ll see the two go head-to-head during the first half of 2023. With a handful of months remaining until Ryan Garcia enters the biggest fight of his professional boxing career, he’s looked beyond the extended wait to get here and has instead focused on what’s in front of him.
“I’ve been asking for this fight since I was 17, 18 years old,” Garcia told ESPN. “I guess he just always wanted to take the easier route, which is fine. You can see by his opposition. It’s finally here; all I gotta say is all of that doesn’t matter now. The fights happening.”
Ryan Garcia has publicly revealed his opinion on the opposition Davis has chosen to face thus far, and he’s been unimpressed with his selection. During this time, Garcia landed his first major win against a multi-divisional champion Javier Fortuna, and he made the win look effortless.
Given his current form, ambition to be the best, and a star-like quality that doesn’t come along very often, Garcia expects that despite Davis being the most formidable competition to date, the final result will be convincing.
“I’m gonna whip him… bad.”