In boxing, a brutally effective show-closer often has the ability to erase any taste of scandal or outside-the-ring nastiness.
Such appears to be the case with WBA lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis. The favored Davis stopped undefeated WBA super featherweight champ Hector Luis Garcia with a big left hand at the end of the eighth round that eventually led to a corner stoppage prior to the ninth.
The big showing– taking place before a sold-out crowd of 19,000+ at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.– instantly TKOd talk of the fighter’s December 27 arrest on charges of domestic battery and of his upcoming February court date involving hit-and-run charges.
Replacing the negative buzz is excitement over a proposed mega-bout with fellow KO artist and lightweight star, Ryan Garcia in April.
“I knew when I caught him he [Hector Luis Garcia] was hurt,” Davis told Showtime’s Jim Gray in his post-fight interview. “He was hurt bad. He’s a fighter. He didn’t wanna show it.”
“I wasn’t throwing a lot of shots [In the beginning of the fight] 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 OK. It’s part of the game.”
Davis is now 28-0 with 26 KOs and aims to move on to bigger and better things in the stacked 135-140 lb. weight range. He’s also firmly established himself as a major star in the sport with Saturday’s event being his eighth straight sold out arena (at seven different venues). This was also his fifth consecutive pay-per-view headliner spot.
Garcia, meanwhile, falls to 16-1 with the loss. The former Olympian, who represented his native Dominican Republic in the 2016 games, still holds his super featherweight title. He’ll presumably move back down in weight to continue with his reign. He worked his way to this big-ticket opportunity on Saturday with a stellar 2022 that saw him upset mega-prospect Chris Colbert and then beat Roger Gutierrez for the world title.
“When I got the shot to my head in the final round, that’s when I couldn’t see from my eye,” Garcia told members of the media in the post-fight press conference. “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.”
The 28-year-old Davis is widely regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He’s also seen as one of boxing’s most explosive one-punch powerhouses. Formerly promoted by Floyd Mayweather’s Mayweather Promotions, the 5-time, 3-division world champ broke free from his contractual ties shortly before this bout and is now a promotional free agent leading into what would likely be the most lucrative fight of his 10-year professional career versus Ryan Garcia.
“If it’s up to me, Ryan is definitely next. We somewhat got everything going in the right direction,” Davis said at the post-fight press conference. “We’re just waiting for Ryan to accept his side, and let’s get the job done.”
Garcia, meanwhile, was quick to jump on social media to once again call out his probable rival.
“Goodbye Tank is over for you,” Garcia wrote via his verified Twitter account. “No more talking let’s get it on APRIL 15th.”