Hector Garcia fought Gervonta Davis about as well as anyone has fought him and he didn’t come close to winning. Davis, like he often does, started extremely slow against Garcia on Saturday at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., in their bout for a secondary lightweight title.
When Davis starts to feel it, however, it’s usually lights out for the guy on the other side of the ring.
Davis ended the bout Saturday after eight rounds, as a flurry late in Round 8 left Garcia unable to see. Garcia asked his corner to stop the bout and it gave Davis his 28th win without a loss as well as his 26th win by knockout.
It also potentially sets up a fascinating and hugely significant fight with Ryan Garcia (no relation to Hector) on April 15.
There are always questions around Davis. This time, he got arrested for domestic violence 10 days before the fight and spent a night in jail. But the alleged victim recanted, Davis was released and he didn’t allow the arrest nor the interruption to his schedule to bother him.
Now, he faces a court date next month for leaving the scene of an accident in 2021. Assuming he isn’t put in jail, he’ll transition to what shapes up as not only the most significant fight of his career but one of the most intriguing fights in boxing.
Ryan Garcia is lightning fast, unlike Hector Garcia, and that speed brings exceptional power with it. But Ryan could ask Hector about Davis’ power. Hector was reasonably competitive, though two judges had it 79-73 and the other had it 78-74 at the time of the stoppage. Yahoo Sports had Davis ahead 77-75.
Davis began to open up in the fourth and it slowly broke Hector down. No one has been able to stand up to Davis when he’s landing those clean straight lefts, the crushing uppercut and the devastating right hook.
It seemed to be an overhand left late in the eighth that led Hector to rethink things and eventually tell his corner enough was enough.
“I knew he was hurt,” Davis said. “He was hurt bad, but he’s a fighter and he attempted to hide it.”
He couldn’t hide it for long. As he made his way to the corner on unsteady legs after the eighth, he told trainer Bob Santos, “I can’t see. I can’t see.”
Santos talked briefly with him but Hector didn’t get off the stool when the bell to start the ninth began. Ultimately, the official time of the TKO was 13 seconds into Round 9.
That kind of crushing power is what Ryan Garcia is going to navigate. Davis is like a lightweight version of Mike Tyson. You can score on him at times, though Davis is excellent at slipping punches while fighting inside. But if you let him start to hit you, it’s huge trouble.
Only Isaac Cruz has gone the full 12 with Davis and Davis had an injured hand in that fight.
He just wears his foes down and if he gets a clear shot, he’s using the power in his hands to put them to sleep with one punch.
Hector Garcia allowed Davis to connect on 73 of 139 power shots and in the end, that’s what did him in. To beat Davis, it’s going to take a fighter who has fast hands, which Ryan Garcia has, a terrific jab and enough power to make Davis respect him.
Davis has an underrated chin, and because he’s short and usually gives up several inches in reach, he’ll take a few shots to get into his punching distance. Ryan is going to have to keep Davis on the outside, which Davis has proven is awfully difficult to do over the course of a long fight.
If that fight occurs, it’s going to create a big star. Davis has become a ticket-seller in many of the major urban venues along the East Coast. The next level for him is to be able to start selling pay-per-views in big numbers.
Ryan is a charismatic and entertaining fighter who has a huge social media following but is only now proving that he’s far more than a pretty boy.
Even if he outboxes Davis thoroughly, he’s going to have to prove he has a chin because Davis punches like few can at his weight.
He’s more skilled than many give him credit for and he’s patient enough not to rush and get out of control.
He is a handful for anyone at lightweight or super lightweight.
If things go Davis’ way the next few months, the Ryan Garcia fight will occur and he’ll get the chance to prove he’s the real deal.