Two of boxing’s brightest stars stepped into the ring a T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night in a highly-anticipated fight. Gervonta “Tank” Davis (29-0) took on Ryan Garcia (23-1) in a battle of two undefeated boxers, and in the seventh round, Davis was able to put the first blemish on Garcia’s record by way of knockout.
Referee Thomas Taylor reached the count of 10 at 1 minute, 44 seconds of Round 7, with Garcia still on one knee struggling to catch his breath. Davis’ victory came before 20,842 at the sold-out T-Mobile Arena, an anticlimactic but conclusive finish to boxing’s most-anticipated matchup in years.
With that single left hand, Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) cemented himself as one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best fighters, if not one of the sport’s singular biggest stars in a 136-pound catchweight bout that was preceded by months of trash talk and hype.
“I thought he was going to get up,” Davis said, ‘but I like to play mind games, so when he was looking at me, I was looking at him trying to tell him, ‘Get up,’ and then he just shook his head, ‘No.'”
Garcia (23-1, 19 KOs) was also floored in Round 2, the result of a well-timed counter left hand that crashed flush into his face. Just as soon as his body hit the canvas, Garcia sprung up as if to show the shot didn’t hurt him. He didn’t show any ill effects from the knockdown throughout the bout.
But body shots like the one Davis landed in the seventh are a different animal, even if they don’t produce the sort of brutality fans lust for.
“I couldn’t breathe,” Garcia said. “I was going to get back up, but I just couldn’t get up. … He just caught me with a good shot. I don’t want to make no excuses in here. … I just couldn’t recover. … He caught me with a good body shot, snuck under me and caught me good.”
The fight was mostly tactical with the better all-around boxer Davis, who conceded 4.5 inches in height, attempting to time Garcia. Davis, 28, baited Garcia with feints as he looked to open him up.
The punches were unleashed with blinding velocity and thudding power in a matchup that featured two of the sport’s most damaging finishers who also have some of the quickest hands. Despite their stardom, only Davis is a former champion, a title he won at 130 pounds in 2017 with a seventh-round TKO of Jose Pedraza.
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