Tank Davis takes out Hector Luis Garcia in nine

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The one place in the world lightweight star Gervonta Davis can find solace is in the ring. Throwing punches, taking punches, it doesn’t matter. The southpaw bomber from Baltimore, Maryland, can make his troubles go away.

Before a sellout crowd of 19,731 at the Capital One Arena on Saturday night, Davis (28-0, 26 knockouts) made reigning WBA 130-pound titleholder Hector Luis Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs) go away with a late-eighth round uppercut that translated into a ninth-round knockout on the PBC event on Showtime Pay-Per-View.

This victory hopefully sets up a showdown between Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia on April 15 in Las Vegas.

“A little surprised (he didn’t come out),” Davis said about Garcia not coming out for the ninth. “But I knew he was hurt bad but he’s a fighter and he didn’t want to show it. I knew he was hurt though. I feel as though – I have stuff to work on. Everything. I’m a fighter and I’m not retired so I’m always willing to learn.”

“I wasn’t throwing a lot of shots (in the beginning) because I was trying to beat him mentally,” Davis said. “I was trying to trick him with my hands and my eyes and things like that because he’s a tough fighter. I had to bait him.

“His southpaw style bothered me a little bit because I don’t fight a lot of southpaws but it’s okay; it’s a part of the game.”

The first few rounds began slowly, but it seemed as if Davis was setting up Garcia by trying to lure him into a firefight.

“I wasn’t throwing a lot of shots (in the beginning) because I was trying to beat him mentally,” Davis admitted. “I was trying to trick him with my hands and my eyes and things like that because he’s a tough fighter. I had to bait him.

“His southpaw style bothered me a little bit because I don’t fight a lot of southpaws but it’s okay; it’s a part of the game.”

Through three rounds, Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs), The Ring’s No. 2-rated junior lightweight, had a few occasions when he turned Davis around and hit him in the back of the head.

But as the fight progressed, Davis’ greater power began to surface. With 1:48 left in the fourth, Garcia landed a counter right to the body, and he was willing to bend down and work in the pocket, which fell right into what Davis wanted.

He nailed Garcia with a straight left, which got the crowd going, then followed with a right hook.

Midway through the sixth, Garcia decide to engage Davis again. He closed the distance and for a brief time, Davis went to an orthodox stance, than immediately switched back to his more natural southpaw look.

With 2:08 left in the seventh, there was some ringside commotion right behind Davis’ corner and the fight was stopped by referee Albert Earl Brown. When the fight resumed, Garcia was lucky to get out of it.

Davis nailed Garcia with his vaunted right uppercut with :18 left in the eighth, causing Garcia to wobble. Garcia, visibly in trouble, survived the round—but he didn’t survive the fight.

“When I got the shot to my head in the final round, that’s when I couldn’t see from my eye,” Garcia said. “I didn’t know where I was when he hit me with that shot. My vision is back but my head still hurts. I couldn’t see from my right eye. It was going well up until that point. I was picking my shots.”

Garcia returned to the corner telling trainer Bob Santos that he could not see. The fight was waved over from there.

“God willing I’m ready for the fight (with Ryan Garcia),” Davis said. “It’s scheduled for April. I’m here. He’s been training. He’s been talking. And let’s see who’s really about that.

“On my end I’m ready. I’ll be in the gym Monday. Well, not Monday. I’ll probably take a week off but I’ll be back for sure soon.

“I have to bring my people in close and listen to my close ones, listen to Al Haymon and just stay focused. There’s a lot of bumps in the road but if we stay focused together – that’s how I’ll (maintain) longevity in the sport.”

 

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Follow @JSantoliquito





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