Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis met up again on Thursday, this time in LA. It was mentioned several times that the winner of this fight will be “the face” of boxing. That designation has rested with Canelo for a few years, but it makes sense, if the Ryan Garcia v Tank Davis fight ends conclusively, the winner may well be regarded as the lead dog for the sport as a whole.
When Ryan got to the mic, after Brian Custer handled preliminaries, stated: “I know I’m coming out on top,” he isn’t just happy to get there. He is keen to win. He looked at Gervonta, and said Tank likes to fight people who don’t punch hard.
“You gonna wake up in the hospital,” Ryan announced, as Gervonta dissed his skills, calling him an incomplete fighter. “What else but a hook,” Tank jabbed. “Right hand ain't shit!”
“You were losing to Barrios,” Ryan countered. Tank then got up and got in his face, Bernard Hopkins came over, and things settled.
Gervonta went to the mic, and continued his assault, insisting that Ryan has a left hook and nothing else. He said he will take Ryan to the deep waters, and “I’m gonna drown him.” He kept it short and not so sweet.
For the Cali session, the event, presided over by Custer, it only started an hour late. The fighters arrived, Ryan first, then Tank, and they came face to face and jawed. Gervonta’s trainer Calvin Ford yelled, “They alright, they alright,” meaning, let them jaw, they know not to throw. He was right, they yapped and then parted ways, to allow the organizers to give their one or two cents. Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De la Hoya, Stephen Espinoza, who said that on April 1 and April 7, Showtime will put out an “All Access,” to give behind the scenes looks. Also, Joe Goossen gave his thoughts, touching on some of the same thoughts he did in this piece.
Espinoza also touched on something that many fans are feeling, and maybe struggling with. It is almost reflexive for us in the sport to be negative. For good reason, I might add. But this fight, on paper, gives reasons for optimism. I’ve brought it up, and I know from my time on Twitter that plenty of folks are in the same boat: But I’m allowing myself to feel optimistic. Maybe I should know better—but I think this fight getting made sets a precedent that I think/hope will be copied.
Ryan Garcia v Tank Davis is two young gunners, at their athletic prime, who lobbied for this fight getting made. Ryan has been vocal about wanting it for years, and so he deserves big time praise. This is the age of “boxing businessmen,” with athletes seeking out the easier route to riches in fame, which often doesn’t demand they look for the stiffest test to solve. This is a “stiffest test,” and so we laud Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. OK, maybe we shouldn’t be over-praising what we believe to be a norm that everyone should adhere to. But times are different…So we give praise. “Boxing is not dead,” declared trainer Ford, who seems to think that this indeed is the start of a trend.
After Ryan and then Tank spoke, Custer shot some questions to the assembled. Ryan said he is fine with Gervonta thinking he only has the left hook. “He sounds dumb right now,” Ryan announced, and they debated it some more. “Don’t be mad, the left hook has been blessed by God,” Ryan said, then pronouncing that maybe it’s OK if he only has the hook, that might be enough.
–Ryan said Tank gets touched a lot. Gervonta said, when Leo Santa Cruz was brought up, that he was still probably asleep…and Ryan would be soon joining him in the Zzzzz zone.
–Ryan said no, he doesn’t think Tank is scared. “We both got fire in our eyes,” he said, when asked about the NYC face-off. Gervonta thinks Ryan is “an act,” he stated. He said that Ryan asked him in a club if they could be friends after the fight, and Ryan admitted he did say that.
–OK, so the Ryan Garcia v Tank Davis winner is what? The man at 135-140? “Whoever wins this is on top, whoever wins is the face of boxing, I truly believe that,” Ryan said. Gervonta said that he thinks he’s already “that guy in the sport,” with Canelo heading “out the door…I’m the face of boxing!”
–“You’re gonna get a special moment, stay tuned, I’m gonna knock him out,” Ryan said. “I’m gonna knock him out. It’s gonna be an explosive fight. If you don’t watch boxing, this is the fight to watch..It’s gonna be a good one…for me.”
April 22, 2023, at T-Mobile in Las Vegas. I will be watching on PPV.com, my friends.