Fight Results: Tank Davis Rolls Over Ryan Garcia in Seven
Gervonta “Tank” Davis of Baltimore and “King” Ryan Garcia of Los Angeles didn't need a title on the line to satisfy the craving of boxing fans looking for new stars to shine in the sport.
In front of an audience of 20,842 fans at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas packed with stars from professional sports, popular music, and a few famous faces from boxing history including Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather, Davis, and Garcia put their skills to the test in a way neither has been asked to do in their professional careers.
In a tense, jittery contest, Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) made it look easy, dropping Garcia in the second round on a counter right hook straight onto his backside. After Garcia recovered, the fight continued for five more tense rounds. Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) took a left hook to the ribs from Davis, stepped back, and took a knee, failing to get up before referee Thomas Taylor reached the ten count for a knockout victory.
The face of boxing @Gervontaa stops Garcia in round 7 with a VICIOUS body shot 😱 #DavisGarcia pic.twitter.com/8MRrWvBOOQ
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 23, 2023
Garcia looked straight at Taylor while the count reached ten at 1:44 of the seventh round, knowing he was not getting to his feet. Taylor waved off the fight and consoled Garcia as Davis celebrated his victory.
Davis: ‘The job's never done'
“Everything was exciting. It's exciting to be a part of this event,” said Davis of his victory. “I remember coming up in Golden Gloves and seeing Floyd (Mayweather) fight at MGM. I thought ‘That was going to be me one day,' and we're here.”
Davis added, “The job's never done till I retire. I will keep my head and stay humble and continue to work.”
Davis had predicted a seventh-round stoppage. Asked how he knew it would happen, Davis admitted, “It was just me trying to get into his head. I really didn't know till I actually get in the ring with my opponent. But once I got in there with him, skill-wise, it was unmatched.”
Garcia: ‘I just couldn't recover'
After the fight, Garcia said he was fine, and complimented the opponent he had trash-talked for weeks. “Tank is a great fighter. I take my hat off to him. We talked a lot of shit, but it's all good at the end of the day.” Turning to Davis, Garcia asked, “We're good, man?” and the pair briefly embraced.
Explaining the knockout from his perspective, Garcia said it was simple. “He just caught me with a good shot. I won't make no excuses. I couldn't recover, and that's it. He caught me with a good body shot underneath.” Garcia said he was going to get back up, but he couldn't make it happen.
“I think I should have pressured him harder against the ropes. I think I gave him a little too much respect in the ring,” said Garcia.
Tense Early Moments End With A Bang
As expected, Garcia was the aggressor in the early going, moving Davis back. Garcia used his lead foot to block the southpaw Davis's path. In the second round, Garcia fired away at Davis, catching him on the ropes and forcing him to backpedal with more aggressive offense.
But his momentum was short-lived when Davis caught Garcia with the left hook counterpunch, dropping Garcia to his backside on the canvas. It didn't appear serious damage was done, but the shock was unmistakable in Garcia's eyes, punctuated by the crowd's reaction.
Davis credited trainer Calvin Ford for preparing him for such an early opportunity. “It's just him (Garcia) not knowing his placement. I knew as the smaller guy, my coach told me in camp, he's going to come in with his head up, so just shoot over the top.”
The ensuing rounds settled into a jittery rhythm, with both fighters looking for openings while remaining respectful of their opponent's ability to do damage. After five rounds, the scorecards showed Davis ahead, a clear advantage for the fighter with the reputation of being a slow starter.
And then the fight was over in a flash.
“I knew that I was the smarter boxer,” said Davis. “He's going to come and shoot over the top,” and that's when Davis fired the knockout punch. As Davis watched Taylor administering the count, he recalled, “I thought he was going to get up. I like to play mind games. (Garcia) was looking at me, I was looking at him, trying to tell him to get up. He shook his head no.”
Davis later said he and Garcia fed off each other's energy and were talking in the ring. “It was fun in there.”
Garcia's Future at 140
Garcia later called the fight good for boxing, although sad for himself Garcia said he hoped the example set by himself and Davis would encourage more fighters to take on their top opponents. He said he intends to move up to the junior welterweight division at 140 pounds and seek a championship there.
“It's all good,” said Garcia. “I'll learn from it.”
Tank Davis: The New Face of Boxing?
Calling it the Battle for Boxing wildly overstates the fight's place in history. But make no mistake, the fight generated interest among fans beyond the regular readers of NYFights and similar boxing news sites who connect with their sports and entertainment via social media.
Davis is ready to step into the role. Asked if his victory makes him the face of boxing, Davis smiled and replied, “Ab-so-fucking-lutely.”
Davis still has to navigate his legal issues outside the ring, including a sentencing date in Baltimore which may leave him to reflect on his victory tonight while in custody. Here's hoping the outcome leads to lessons learned and a more measured lifestyle allowing Davis to embrace his fame without any more personal baggage.
It's fair to call this the Social Media Battle for Boxing. When asked Here's hoping the buildup and knockout finish plant the seeds of enthusiasm turning Gen Z casual fans into serious boxing fans. The sport needs a younger fanbase, and those who care about the sport's continued health should encourage and embrace them.