Gervonta Davis scores TKO as Hector Luis Garcia quits before 9th

Gervonta Davis scores TKO as Hector Luis Garcia quits before 9th

01:50 ET

Mike CoppingerESPN

Gervonta “Tank” Davis rocked Hector Luis Garcia with a left hand in the closing moments of the 8th round, sending the player to his bench before the ninth round on Saturday in Washington, DC.

Garcia absorbed a series of powerful blows to unsteady legs and later said, “I didn’t know where I was when he hit me with that blow. My head still hurts. I couldn’t see, but my sight is back.”

With the TKO victory, Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) keeps a scheduled April 15 superfight against Ryan Garcia (no relation) in Las Vegas intact, although that bout is not yet official. Davis was ahead 79-73, 79-73 and 78-74 at the stoppage.

“I was trying to beat him mentally,” said Davis, 28. “I was trying to trick him with my hands and eyes and stuff like that because he’s a tough fighter. I had to bait him. … God willing , I am ready for war [with Ryan Garcia]. It is scheduled for April. He has been training; he has spoken.”

Davis, who is usually a slow starter, didn’t land many clean punches during the first three rounds as Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs) dictated the pace with his southpaw. Davis finally found his rhythm in the 4th round.

The star boxer connected on a stinging counter right hand and several lefts that caught Garcia’s attention in a fast-paced fourth. Garcia is a 130-pound starter who moved up to 135 for his career-high paydays, yet he was more than willing to stay in the pocket and trade with the bigger, stronger puncher.

Gervonta Davis, left, kept intact a scheduled April 15 superfight against Ryan Garcia, which is among the biggest fights in world boxing. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Davis, who is from nearby Baltimore and packed the Capital One Arena with more than 19,000 fans, began hitting Garcia in the 5th round with lead left hands. He followed up with some powerful right hands and started to really land on those shots late in the 6th round.

“The Tank” was in control in the 8th round when the fight was stopped by the referee due to a crowd dispute in the ring. It was a highly unusual call by the official, who stopped the action 58 seconds into the round after Davis stopped fighting due to noise. The action resumed after nearly a minute, and when it did, Davis finally landed the punch he was looking for.

The straight left hand immediately put Garcia, 31, on shaky feet. Davis capitalized with a series of blistering rights and lefts that sent Garcia retreating to his bench moments later.

Punching StatsPunchesDavisGarciaTotal thrown9955Total thrown239345Percent41%16%Jabs landed265Jabs landed100157Percent26%3%Power landed7350Power thrown139188Percent53%27%-uBoxy

Davis said he was “a little surprised” that Garcia didn’t go out in the 9th round “but I knew he was hurt bad.”

“But he’s a fighter and he didn’t want to show it,” Davis said.

Now, Davis can move on to a 136-pound bantamweight fight against Ryan Garcia, which is among the biggest fights in global boxing. But first, Davis will go on trial on Feb. 16 in Baltimore for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident that occurred in November 2020. Davis was accused of leaving the scene of a crash that involved four people, including a pregnant woman. He faces 14 charges, including failure to return immediately and remaining at the scene of an accident causing bodily injury.

According to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, a Baltimore County District Court judge refused to approve a plea deal that would have avoided jail time instead of house arrest. The trial is expected to last two days.

Last week, Davis was arrested in South Florida after he allegedly hit a woman on the right side of her head with a “closed hand type slap,” according to police. He was charged with a misdemeanor. Davis, who denied the allegations, referred to the woman as the mother of his daughter.

The woman later said Davis “didn’t hurt me and our daughter.” The arrest came 14 days after a domestic violence case was dismissed stemming from a February 2020 incident in which Davis was accused of hitting the mother of his daughter on the University of Miami campus.

“I have to bring my people closer and listen to my relatives, listen to you [PBC founder] Al Haymon and just stay focused,” said Davis, ESPN’s No. 3 welterweight. “There’s a lot of bumps in the road, but if we stay focused together, that’s how we’re going to [maintain] longevity in sports”.

Davis was fighting for the first time since a sixth-round TKO victory over Rolly Romero in May. Garcia, an Olympian from the Dominican Republic, exploded in 2022 with an upset win over Chris Colbert in February, followed by a decision win over Roger Gutierrez in August to capture the WBA junior welterweight title. Garcia remains the starter at 130 pounds, where he is ranked fourth by ESPN.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *