Gervonta Davis defended his WBA world lightweight championship by beating Hector Luis Garcia by TKO early on Sunday morning after eight rounds.
Davis shrugged off a slow start to improve to 28-0 with 26 KOs and hand Garcia his first professional loss in his 17th match. Garcia held in tough with Davis early but could not answer the bell for the ninth round because he lost vision in his right eye.
“A little surprised, but when I caught him, I knew he was hurt he was hurt bad,” Davis said. “He’s a fighter, so he didn’t want to show it. I knew he was hurt, though.”
Davis, a Baltimore native fighting in his second hometown, is scheduled to face Ryan Garcia on April 15 in one of boxing’s most anticipated showdowns of the year.
“I’ll be ready,” Davis said. “I’m ready for the fight. He’s been training, he’s been talking and let’s see who’s really about that.”
But first, Tank Davis had to get through Garcia, the Dominican who he said earned his spot thanks to a strong 2022.
The fight was in danger of being called off when Davis was arrested and charged with domestic violence in late December, before the woman who called the police put out a statement on social media days later saying Davis did not harm me or our daughter.
Davis, who was released on bail and denied the allegations in a since-deleted social media post, said he was not worried about the fight not happening, saying he just wanted to clear his name.
After the sell-out crowd of 19,731 waited until just before 1 am for the start of the main event, Davis and Garcia waited a little longer to get going, starting with a couple of low-event rounds and very few punches thrown.
Davis found his groove in the fourth round, landing several jabs and bringing fans to their feet.
“I was trying to beat him mentally,” Davis said. “I was trying to trick him with my hands and with my eyes. He’s a talented fighter, so
I had to bait him in.”
An altercation in the ringside of the stands led the referee to stop the action midway through the eighth round, as Davis and Garcia were distracted by the disturbance. The fight resumed for more than a minute, and Davis put on a show until the bell was rang, landing enough blows to end the match.
“It was going well up until that point,” Garcia said through an interpreter. “Sometimes I would put him in a bad spot, a bad condition, and I was picking my spots against him during the fight. Until then, I thought the fight was going well.” —Sky Sports