Gervonta Davis declared himself as the face of boxing after knocking out Ryan Garcia in the seventh round of their eagerly-anticipated super fight in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) dropped Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) in the second round and detonated a ruthless body shot in the seventh, which his rival was unable to recover from after he fell to a knee and failed to make the referee’s 10 count, in front of a sold out T-Mobile Arena.
Both men had come inside the 136lb catchweight limit at Friday’s weigh-in and were on weight for the 146lbs second day weigh-in at 11am on Saturday.
With 45 knockouts between them heading into their showdown, the pair made an unsurprisingly cautious start, although it was Garcia who started as the betting underdog who made the brighter start, showing glimpses of his blistering hand speed.
The 24-year-old had predicted a second round knockout two years ago when he first called for a meeting with ‘Tank’, but his bold forecast almost backfired dramatically, as he was sent crashing to the canvas.
After swarming Davis with some rapid combinations, Garcia attempted to connect with his trademark left hook, but was caught reaching in and the Baltimore man sent him to the floor with a pinpoint left hook counter.
Despite the knockdown, ‘King Ry’ shrugged it off and recovered well in similar vein to when he faced the same kind of adversity after Luke Campbell knocked him down just over two years ago.
The Californian was not deterred and landed some hurtful looking body shots in the following rounds, although it was three-weight world champion, Davis who was building a healthy lead.
Garcia had a strong sixth round landing a fierce right hand as he attempted to reduce the scoring deficit.
‘King Ry’ started the seventh round well connecting with spiteful combinations, however Davis, 28, who stopped Hector Luis Garcia in January, ended his momentum in a flash.
As Garcia looked to close the gap, Davis tied him up as he had done successfully to limit his attacks and landed a vicious body shot.
A clearly winded Garcia stumbled back and took a knee and as referee Thomas Taylor counted to 10, ‘King Ry’ was unable to get up in time, handing Davis arguably the victory of his career.
“I thought he was gonna get up,” Davis told SHOWTIME post-fight.
“But I like to play mind games, so when he was looking at me, I was looking at him, like, ‘Get up,’ and he shook his head, ‘No.’
“I’m definitely the face of boxing. Abso-f******-lutely.”
🔦 The torch has 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 been passed. Gervonta Davis is the face of boxing 💪#Boxing #DavisGarcia pic.twitter.com/cfMwW6xIzT
— Pro Boxing Fans (@ProBoxingFans) April 23, 2023
Garcia offered no excuses and gave respect to his rival after a heated build-up.
“Tank is a great fighter,” Garcia told SHOWTIME post-fight.
“I take my hat off to him. I know we talked a lot of s***, but it’s all love at the end of the day.
“I was honoured to be in the ring with a great fighter and I respect him a lot.
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“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.”
Morrell destroys Falcaco
David Morrell sent a statement to the super middleweight division, after retaining his WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title with a devastating first round knockout over Yamaguchi Falcao.
Morrell (9-0, 8 KOs) proved a class above from the outset and had Falcao (24-2-1, 10 KOs) stumbling into the ropes, as he struggled to contain the Cuban champion.
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The unbeaten 25-year-old followed up with a wicked right hook which laid the Brazilian out cold on the canvas.
Melikuziev gains revenge over Rosado
Bektemir Melikuziev put the demons of his only career loss to to bed by securing revenge over Gabriel Rosado in their rematch.
Rosado (26-17-1, 15 KOs) produced one of the knockouts of the year in 2021 when he wiped out Melikuziev (12-1, 9 KOs) in three rounds, but there was no such repeat with the Uzbek crushing to a near shutout victory on the scorecards, with all three judges handing him a 99-91 win.
Elsewhere, Elijah Garcia (15-0, 12 KOs) extended his undefeated record with a unanimous decision win over Kevin Salgado Zambrano (15-2-1, 10 KOs) in their middleweight contest.
Two scores of 97-92 and another narrow one of 95-94 gave him the win.
Polish middleweight Fiodor Czerkaszyn (22-0, 14 KOs) continued his rise with a ninth round TKO success over Elias Espadas (22-6, 15 KOs) and also at 160lbs Lorenzo Simpson (13-0, 7 KOs) made it 13 straight victories, outscoring Pachino Hill (8-2-1, 6 KOs) over six rounds.
Lightweight Floyd Schofield (14-0, 11 KOs), super welterweight, Jalil Major Hackett (6-0, 5 KOs) and bantamweight, Cuttino Oliver (3-0, 2 KOs) all remained unbeaten with stoppage wins respectively.