One of the most anticipated fights of the year went down in front of a sellout crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Gervonte Davis faced off against Ryan Garcia. The bout provided something boxing fans were not accustomed to – two undefeated fighters facing each other in their prime. The evening ended with Davis KO’ing Garcia with a crushing body shot in Round Seven.
The first round was a typical feeling out round for both fighters. Sizing one another up, the judges awarded the round to Garcia, likely because he was the busier of the two. Davis is a slow starter who uses the early rounds to size his opponent up. So, no surprises there.
The second round was different. Garcia was far more aggressive, but at his own peril. With just a minute left in the round, Davis dropped Garcia, with an effective counter left hook. Garcia quickly got to his feet to beat the count, but the round was clearly a Davis round and the momentum in the fight shifted.
Rounds Three through Five saw Davis now fully assert himself. Effectively outboxing Garcia landing a variety of hooks to the body. Garcia had moments in the Round Six landing several right hands on Davis. But, in Round Seven, Davis landed a killer body shot to Garcia’s liver. The effect was delayed, as Garcia first took a step back, and then dropped to one knee.
This time, unable to beat the count.
In the post-fight interviews Garcia told the press “I couldn’t breathe…I was going to get back up, but I just couldn’t get up. … He just caught me with a good shot. I don’t want to make no excuses in here. … I just couldn’t recover. … He caught me with a good body shot, snuck under me and caught me good.”
What’s next for each fighter? For Garcia, it’s back to the drawing board. At 24 years old, he’s still in the early part of his career with a chance to learn and grow from this defeat. He also has plenty of opportunity at the 140lb division, which with his taller frame seems like a better fit.
For Davis, the win cements Davis as one of boxing’s best, and arguably the face of boxing. Yet, he has his own obstacle to overcome outside the ring. Davis will be sentenced in May for an automobile accident. If the sentence is on the heavy side, it could put him out of action, just at the time he’s ready to take over the sport.
It will be interesting to see the trajectory of these two young stars. Until then, see the highlights of Davis vs. Garcia here.
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