In an underwhelming but decisive finale to boxing’s most anticipated match-up in recent years, referee Thomas Taylor reached a count of 10 at the 1:44 mark of the seventh round as Ryan Garcia knelt on one knee from a body shot delivered by Gervonta “Tank” Davis in front of a crowd of 20,842 this past Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Garcia, now 23–1 (19 KOs) would be knocked down twice in the fight by Davis, the WBA Regular lightweight champion who remained unblemished at 29–0 (27 KOs). (The WBA has the designations of Regular and Super title holders.) 

The first knockdown was a counter left to the face in Round 2. The bout-ending blow saw Garcia experience a delayed effect from a searing liver shot from Davis and a short-left uppercut placed right above the rib cage. Garcia was momentarily motionless before going down on one knee. 

“I am the face of boxing,” Davis said in his post-fight interview via Showtime Boxing. He solidified himself as one of boxing’s top fighters pound-for-pound, if not arguably the sport’s biggest star, with that one body blow. 

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“I couldn’t breathe,” said Garcia, 24. “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 [any] excuses in here…and I just couldn’t recover…He caught me with a good body shot, snuck under me, and caught me good.” 

At the time of the stoppage, Davis, 28, from Baltimore, Maryland, was well ahead on all three of the official scorecards. Judge Dave Moretti had it 59–55, Judge Steve Weisfeld 59–56, and Judge Tim Cheatham 58–56. 

When Davis was asked if Garcia was the best opponent he has faced, he took a couple of seconds to answer. “I’d say he’s the best fighter,” he responded. “Definitely, we [were] going off each other’s energy in there.” 

Davis claimed that Garcia’s punches never affected him, while admitting that he remained cautious. However, he was confident that Garcia couldn’t match his ring IQ. 

“I just felt like I was a step, a level, above him, so everything he was doing in the ring, I was already aware of everything,” Davis said. “I was already aware a couple steps before he did it, so I was mostly calm and just let him make his mistakes and I just countered off his mistakes.”  

After his first loss, Garcia, 24, from Los Alamitos, California, bemoaned he wasn’t more patient against Davis. In the second round, when Garcia thought he injured Davis, he believed his haste worked against him. He wound up being dropped by his crafty opponent at 1:01.  

“I thought I had Davis pretty hurt, to be honest,” said Garcia. “He was actually hurt and then that’s what I get. I ran into a big shot and that’s what I get…I was impatient and then I ran into an overhand left…It didn’t really hurt me too bad, though…But then that was that. Yeah, it was simple. I got impatient and I got caught.”  

Garcia didn’t use any of the attributes that have made him a top fighter. He didn’t maximize his 5–8 1/2 height and reach over the shorter 5–5 1/2 Davis. Garcia was also left-hook–happy, rarely throwing his right hand to set up the left hook. He abandoned his hand speed as he declined to throw any combinations.

“I just wanted to make the fight a little bit more exciting,” Garcia said during the presser. “Again, that’s my inexperience, I guess, at the biggest stage. I definitely messed up.”

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