Gervonta Davis drops Ryan Garcia twice, finishes him in 7th with body shot

LAS VEGAS – Gervonta “Tank” Davis is 2-0 in 2023 against Garcias.

Davis knocked out Ryan Garcia in the seventh round of a Premier Boxing Champions Showtime Pay-Per-View main event on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 20,842 at T-Mobile Arena.

With the victory, Davis stands as one of the biggest names in boxing behind Canelo Alvarez. The bout was his second of the year. He defeated Hector Luis Garcia on January 9 before a sold-out, pro-Davis crowd of 19,731 at at Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, the tables were slightly tilted as Davis fought before a crowd that was bipartisan across the board. What didn't change, though, were the results.

Garcia, who suffered the first loss of his pro career, got the fight he wanted, but Davis dominated despite all the smack that was spewed by both sides. Ultimately, as customary in Davis fights, his powerful punches did the damage and wore his opponent down.

Davis retained his secondary 135-pound title for the fourth time against Hector Garcia. However, the bout against the 24-year-old Garcia was a non-title fight at a 136-pound catchweight with a 10-pound rehydration clause that was applied at 11 a.m. local time. Garcia came in slightly heavier than his rival following the second-day weigh in, coming in at 144.9 pounds, while Davis tipped the scales at 144.1 pounds.

The fight began at a measured pace with neither man doing anything to even try to establish themselves in the first round in which nothing happened other than the two staring, feinting, and throwing a few half-hearted jabs and hooks.

Finally, the action picked up in the second round with Garcia stepping to Davis. However, Garcia got reckless and Davis made him pay with a looping left hand that knocked him hard to the canvas.

“The first knockdown was just him not knowing his placement and 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 said of the knockdown.

The fight reverted back to a measured pace with Davis using his movement to keep Garcia on the move. He moved to the ropes, where he set up a nice trap, landing a straight left hand before circling away.

With 1:55 left in the fifth round, Davis countered Garcia with a straight left hand after the latter missed the target on a jab. Davis subsequently circled away from Garcia and led him near the ropes once again, where Garcia was hesitant to commit to his offense.

Garcia landed a right hand that knocked Davis back to begin the sixth round. After some posturing and some sporadic boo birds from the crowd, Davis connected with a counter left uppercut on Garcia, who followed up with a set of wild shots that failed to hit the target.

“I think I should have pressured him a little harder near the ropes," said Garcia. "I was giving him a little bit too much respect and I think that was my downfall. I think I gave him a little too much respect in the ring.”

Davis ended things in the seventh round when he connected with a perfectly placed left hook to the liver. It started when Davis took a step towards Garcia and lightly pushed him to get him off balance. Garcia subsequently threw a lazy right hand, allowing Davis to sneak in the body shot. Garcia immediately twitched and grimaced in pain as he pumped out a few jabs before taking a knee for the full 10 count. The official time of the KO was 1:44.

“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. 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."

When asked by Showtime's Jim Gray if he felt he was the face of boxing, Davis resoundly stated, "I’m definitely the face of boxing. Absolutely!”

Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) made no excuses and congratulated Davis on an excellent performance.

“I’m [feeling] good. ‘Tank’ is a great fighter. I take my hat off to him. I know we talked a lot of trash leading into the fight, but he knows what it is. 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. You know how the business goes. But I want to say to Tank, you’re a good man."

Garcia said of the knockout: "He just caught me with a good shot. I don’t want to make any excuses in here. He caught me with a good shot and I just couldn’t recover and that’s it. He caught me with a good body shot, snuck under me and caught me good.

“I couldn’t breathe. I was going to get back up, but I just couldn’t get up."

In the chief support, David Morrell (9-0, 8 KOs) knocked 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Yamaguchi Falcao (24-2-1, 10 KOs) out cold in the first round.

Falcao came out pressing in the first round, connecting with a couple of jabs. However, as soon as Morrell began to unload, Falcao folded. A big uppercut rocked Falcao that sent him stumbling into the ropes. Referee Celestino Ruiz correctly ruled the ropes held him up, signifying a knockdown. When the fight resumed, Morrell brutally finished him off as Falcao collapsed face-first on the mat. The bout was immediately waved off, with Falcao receiving medical attention.

To round out the rest of the card, super middleweight Bektemir Melikuziev (12-1, 9 KOs) outpointed Gabriel Rosado (26-17-1, 15 KOs) over 10 rounds in a rematch of their June 2021 bout that ended with Rosado scoring an electrifying third-round knockout. In their second rendition, it was conceivably one of the worst fights on a major card in history.

Elijah Garcia (15-0, 12 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Kevin Salgado (15-2-1, 10 KOs) to remain undefeated in their middleweight contest.

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