On April 22nd, Gervonta Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) and Ryan Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) will finally faceoff after two years of jaw-jacking. With seemingly minor disregard for Tank's devastating power, Ryan Garcia has talked himself into a showdown with the knockout king of the lightweight division.
In the first episode of All Access: Davis vs. Garcia, Gervonta Davis's co-trainer Kenny Ellis asked his fighter, “Everybody is buying a ticket to see what?”
“A knockout,” Davis quickly responded.
“Then knockout his ass out,” replied Ellis with an iciness, dismissing any other outcome to the fight.
And that's what most fans are expecting when these two finally meet on April 22nd.
Although Garcia has an impressive knockout ratio, Davis is the one that has recently dished out some of boxing's most brutal and unforgettable knockout reels.
The winner of this fight is going to be positioned as “the face” of boxing, by the way.
This mega event needs a “fight week and a half,” lol, here are what I consider Gervonta Davis’s top three knockouts:
3. Jesus Cuellar (April 21st, 2018, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY):
In his previous fight against Francisco Fonseca, Gervonta Davis was stripped of his IBF super featherweight title after missing the 130lb weight limit. Although Davis dispatched the Nicaraguan native in eight rounds, losing his title on the scales left many of us wondering if this foreshadowed terrible things for the remainder of Davis's career.
Eight months later, the Baltimore native would face Jesus Cuellar for the WBA's version of the super featherweight title. This time a more focused and disciplined version of Davis won his first battle at the scales and easily made the weight limit.
Tank’s next battle would be in the ring against veteran and former world champion Jesus Cuellar. At the time of their meeting, Cuellar was coming off his second loss to former world champion Abner Mares. However, that didn’t mean Cuellar was a slouch. The Argentinian native was tough and had beaten some notable fighters in his career. But Cuellar would soon find out the Tank was in a class of his own. Davis would systematically dismantle Cuellar in only three rounds, like a butcher wielding a sharp blade against a carcass. Davis's counterpunches were fast and accurate, and they would stop Cuellar's attacks immediately. Tank put together a diverse attack that included shots to Cuellar's torso and swift footwork to position himself to land deadly uppercuts and straight rights to the Argentinian’s brain box.
Additionally, Tank remained poised and committed to attacking Cuellar's body and letting the knockout develop. Finally, the end came for Cuellar in the third round when Davis launched his final attack, forcing referee Benjy Esteves Jr. to halt the devastating onslaught. Tank’s ability to overcome the embarrassing loss of his title at the scales and his methodical destruction of a former world champion is why this knockout is number three on my list.
2. Jose Pedraza (January 14th, 2017, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY):
In only his sixteenth outing as a professional, Gervonta Davis would be fighting Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza for the IBF super featherweight world title.
New York City can be brutally cold in January, but Tank would heat things quickly at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn that night.
It would be Jose Pedraza's fourth defense of his IBF strap, and the Puerto Rican native had no intentions of giving it up that night. In fact, John Gatling wrote for NYFights that a Baltimore star was born in Brooklyn that night.
Pedraza was undefeated going into this bout and would be Davis's toughest opponent. Pedraza was a solid champion known as the “Sniper” for his precision punching, but he would quickly find out that the Baltimore powerhouse was on another level.
Dressed in white and gold, Davis was eerily calm during the fighter introductions, like a gentle breeze masking a nightmarish thunderstorm about to make landfall.
The bell rang to start round one, and Davis immediately outclassed Pedraza. The young contender was having his way with the champion. Landing lighting quick jabs and counters that had the Puerto Rican champion befuddled from the onset of the fight. It seemed that Davis was in a comfort zone and attacked Pedraza virtually unchallenged. It is not as if Pedraza didn't try to fight, but he was just too slow offensively and defensively and outgunned by the more skilled contender.
By the sixth round, it was clear that Pedraza’s championship reign was just one thunderous punch away. Late in the seventh round, Davis would land a monstrous right hook that rocked Pedraza's head so violently that it would’ve flown off his shoulders had it not been attached to his spine. See the video snippet below:
The Puerto Rican champion crashed to the canvas, and although Pedraza bravely beat the count, referee Ricky Gonzalez mercifully ended the slaughter. His devastating knockout while putting on a masterclass performance on his way to winning his first world title is why Tank's knockout of Jose Pedraza makes number two on my list.
1: Leo Santa Cruz (October 31st, 2020, Alamodome, San Antonio, TX):
It was all treats and no tricks for boxing fans when Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz squared off on Halloween night in 2020 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Fans were entertained for six rounds by two of the best fighters in the world, putting their respective titles on the line.
Davis would square off against his most accomplished foe in Santa Cruz in his eighth world title fight since becoming champion. Before his showdown with Davis, the Mexican champion was a veteran of thirty-nine battles and a star in his own right. Cruz had fought in seventeen world title matches and had beaten some of the best fighters in the world. His only loss was to Carl Frampton, a loss he avenged in his next fight.
If there was anyone that could hand the Baltimore Nightmare his first loss, it was certainly Leo Santa Cruz.
The war started aggressively as Leo Santa Cruz pressed the action forcing Davis to trade combinations with the Mexican warrior. The fight would continue at this pace for the first four rounds, with Santa Cruz landing successfully and seemingly winning some rounds. However, through those exchanges, Davis was steadily attacking Santa Cruz’s body and slowing down Leo leaving him vulnerable to counter uppercuts.
Tank stealthily hunted Leo down like Michael Myers hunted his victims in the Halloween movies. And much like the notorious Halloween killer, Tank cornered Leo and landed a violent blow that sent Leo to sleep early with no candy.
How he positioned his feet and dipped his body to get the perfect angle and torque on the punch was nothing short of artistic and is why Gervonta Davis is considered a generational talent. That counter uppercut that Davis landed against Santa Cruz was the perfect blend of savagery and beauty one can see in a punch, and it is why this knockout makes number one on my list. Watch the whole fight, courtesy Showtime, here.
These knockouts are some of the many reasons why Gervonta Davis has such a strong fanbase and is one of boxing's superstars. Although knockouts are only a small aspect of “the sweet science,” they are unquestionably why most fans tune in to watch the sport of boxing. Knockouts are violently blissful, and when one takes place as it did in the Davis vs. Sant Cruz fight, they always leave fans craving for more. When Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia clash on April 22nd, there is a high probability that this fight may end with one of those two suffering their first loss and being told about it when he regains consciousness.