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Tank Davis Mows Down Martin, Gets Knockout WIn

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Tank Davis Mows Down Martin, Gets Knockout WIn
Photo Credit: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Fourteen months out of the ring, 421 days, and a lot of life lessons didn’t present Gervonta ‘Tank' Davis (30-0, 29 KOs) from delivering the goods fans want to see, scoring a vicious knockout win over Frank “Ghost” Martin (18-1, 12 KOs) in the eighth round of his WBA World Lightweight title fight Saturday in Las Vegas.

“It’s OK, I was a little rusty, but I’m back!” said a smiling Davis after the win. “I knew he was going to tire down. I would just stand there, be a target for him just so he could tire himself out, and when he got tired out, I could pick him apart.”

Gervonta Davis celebrates his successful title defense against Frank Martin Saturday in Las Vegas. Photo: Esther LIn, Premier Boxing Champions Tank Davis

Gervonta Davis celebrates his successful title defense against Frank Martin Saturday in Las Vegas. Photo: Esther LIn, Premier Boxing Champions

The highlight reel uppercut and left hook combination that dropped and stopped Martin was a fitting performance for the historic 100th championship main event held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“It’s big,” said Davis after the fight. “I’m grateful to be a part of this moment. Being a part of this whole thing, fighting in Vegas, fighting at the MGM, I’m grateful to be here in the building with a lot of legends.”

Martin Started Strong Until Davis Found His Groove

Frank Martin performed well in the early rounds, but admitted he got caught by a punch he never saw coming. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Frank Martin performed well in the early rounds, but admitted he got caught by a punch he never saw coming. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Martin looked sharp and confident in the early rounds against Davis. It’s unclear whether the champion’s rustiness contributed to Martin’s strong start.

By the fourth round, Davis began gaining control of the ring, finding answers to pick off the shots that were landing earlier and pressing Martin back into the ropes where he could do damage.

The outcome seemed pre-determined once Davis began to move in. It was at a point where Martin had once again backed into the rope that Davis struck with the best knockout since his 2020 Knockout of the Year against Leo Santa Cruz.

“I don’t know till they get in there with me. But I’ve been around a long time. It’s like second nature. Staying focus, making sure my mind’s on the goal and coming out on top,” said Davis about his performance.

“I knew the way he fell he wasn’t getting up,” said Davis later.

Frank Martin said later you have to "stay woke" against Gervonta Davis - and he didn't. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Frank Martin said later you have to “stay woke” against Gervonta Davis – and he didn't. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

“He had decent power, but he was wearing down as the fight was going on. He was breaking down. That’s when I started picking it up more.”

Martin graciously acknowledged the victory, giving an honest assessment of where he fell short. “I got caught with a shot that I didn’t see. It went from there. I guess I didn’t make the count.

“I got to chilling too much on the ropes. That’s one thing Derrick (James) has been talking to me about … He’s got good setups, good traps. The trap I got caught me with, it was one we knew could possibly happen. I was just too comfortable, and he landed that up on me. I didn’t see it, being on those ropes.”

When Frank Martin let Tank Davis pin him to the ropes, bad things happened. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Martin said Davis combines his power with accuracy to land his big shots.

“Watch all his shots, he’s got them shots that if you don’t see them he’ll get you out. He’s sneaky with it. It’s like being woke. With him, you gotta be woke. I got caught with a shot not being woke.”

Martin appeared in good spirits at the post-fight news conference, promising he would be back better. “Y’all will see me again.”

Ryan Garcia congratulated Tank Davis on his win, wearing a shirt saying “Tank's #1 Fan” on the front, and “Rematch Me Bitch”on the back. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Davis said it was a big win, but added, “I can’t celebrate because I got to do it again.” Asked about a possible unification fight with multi-division world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, Davis was all about it.

Prediction? “You know it will go. Everyone in this room knows how it will go. It will be good for the sport if we fight, now or later.”

Successful Debut at Light Heavyweight For David Benavidez

Fighting with damaged hands and a cut in a new weight division, David Benavidez got the win against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in his light heayweight debut. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Fighting with damaged hands and a cut in a new weight division, David Benavidez got the win against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in his light heayweight debut. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

In the co-main event, David Benavidez of Phoenix (29-0, 24 KOs) made a successful debut in the light heavyweight division with a decision victory over former light heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk of Ukraine (20-2, 13 KOs). Benavidez also learned he’s got things to work on.

Gvozdyk made Benavidez work hard for the decision win. The scores were 119-109, 117-111, and 116-112, only the second opponent in seven years to go the distance with Benavidez.

“I felt I had a great fight. Tough fighter, I’m ready to move on,” said Benavidez. “I was trying to get the feel of the light heavyweight division. These guys hit a little harder.”

Benavidez easily won the opening rounds, firing off vicious combinations of hooks, uppercuts and body shot. Gvozdyk felt them but walked through them all. He came into the fight in phenomenal condition and never slowed down through 12 rounds.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk made David Benavidez work hard for his win. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

The Ukrainian doesn’t have the same raw power as Benavidez or Artur Beterbiev, but his shots still hurt and his skills are surprisingly sharp after he returned from a three-year plus retirement. He never backed down from Benavidez. But he is ten years older. His skills are excellent but not at their peak.

Benavidez revealed after the win he had a torn tendon in his right hand and hurt his left hand during the fight. He also suffered a cut next to his right eye two weeks ago doing sparring.

“It worried me, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think I would make it here,” said Benavidez. But his father and trainer Jose Benavidez Senior encouraged him to keep going, hoping he would heal in time for the fight, and he did.

“I didn’t want the fans to miss out. This is the biggest card for PBC this whole year. I said fuck it, I’m going to keep training, and God took care of me. I came out with some injuries, but I still won.

David Benavidez gave himself a score of 7 out of 10 for his performance against Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

“I dominated every single round, even with the cut and two messed up hands. That speaks volumes about my name.”

Benavidez said he would like to fight at light heavyweight, but he would move back to the super middleweight division for a title fight, whether with Canelo Alvarez or if the titles are vacated because he wants to win a title in the division one more time. “I’m ready to be a four-time world champion.

“To become a great fighter, to become a legend, no one’s had it easy. None of the legends has had it easy. I’m just going to keep working hard,” said Benavidez.

Alberto Puello Scores Upset Win over Gary Antuanne Russell

Ring rust is real and it cost Gary Antuanne Russell his undefeated record against Alberto Puello. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

In a highly completive fight, it was Alberto Puello of the Dominican Republic (23-0, 10 KOs) who retained his perfect record. He dealt Gary Antuanne Russell of Capital Heights, Maryland (17-1, 17 KOs) his first loss by split decision to win the WBC interim super lightweight title.

The scores were 115-112 and 114-113 for Puello, and a perplexing 118-109 for Russell.

Simply put, activity matters. Russell had fought a single round since July 2022. He took more than half of the fight to get warmed up. Once he did, the final three rounds were far more competitive, but by then Puello was firmly in control of the action.

Russell has won all his fights to date by stoppage, but his power eluded him in Saturday’s fight.

Puello suffered a point deduction in the ninth round for holding. Referee Allen Huggins hadn’t given Puello much warning before he did so. Fortunately it did not affect the outcome.

Puello should be in line to fight one of the current champions, including Liam Paro after his upset win over Subriel Matias in Puerto Rico on Saturday.

Carlos Adames Successfully Defends Title Against Terrell Gausha

Carlos "Bronco" Adames succesfully defended his WBC Middleweight title against Terrell Gausha. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions Tank Davis wins

Carlos “Bronco” Adames succesfully defended his WBC Middleweight title against Terrell Gausha. Photo: Esther Lin, Premier Boxing Champions

Middleweight Carlos Adames of the Dominican Republic (24-1, 18 KOs) defended his fresh  WBC title in a tedious effort against veteran Terrell Gausha of Cleveland (24-3-1, 12 KOs) to open the PPV lineup.  Adames waited for his opportunity for nearly three years while Jermall Charlo held the belt hostage, but finally had his interim title elevated after the WBC stripped Charlo.

Adames won by unanimous decision over Gausha by scores of 119-109, 118-110, 118-110. The totals reflect a fight in which Adames did just enough to win each round, 51% to 49%, resulting in the lopsided outcome. After this performance, numerous opponents will be enthusiastic about taking on Adames to get their hands on this belt.

 

Gayle Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist and the only woman journalist who is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). She is West Coast Bureau Chief based in San Diego, California.