Gervonta Davis stops Ryan Garcia with body shot in seventh round


Gervonta Davis won a highly-anticipated fight with Ryan Garcia on Saturday night, stopping his fellow American with a body shot in the seventh round.

Both lightweights were undefeated as they entered Las Vegas, but it was Davis who maintained his perfect record by winning the 136lbs catchweight bout, dropping Garcia to a knee and leaving the 24-year-old unable to beat the referee’s count.

Garcia had started well at the T-Mobile Arena, but Davis, 28, dropped the former WBC interim lightweight champion with a left hook to the head in Round 2, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Garcia survived until the end of the round, but “Tank” Davis pulled ahead as the fight neared its halfway mark. The WBA lightweight champion was landing crosses from southpaw with increasing frequency, while also investing in attacks to the body. Meanwhile, Garcia was employing his rapid jab less and less as the fight wore on.

Round 6 was Garcia’s best since the opener, however, and he also looked to be gaining momentum in the seventh round until – as in Round 2 – Davis dropped him seemingly out of nowhere.

After Garcia landed a grazing left hook to the head, Davis rolled under his opponent’s next punch and dug an almost imperceptible left hook into the midriff of “King Ryan”. Garcia stepped back and flicked out jab feints, but a moment later he dropped to a knee, wincing in pain.

The 24-year-old was unable to beat the referee’s count, and Davis celebrated in the opposite corner, having settled a feud years in the making.

Garcia fell to a knee in a delayed reaction after a body shot from Davis (AP)
Garcia fell to a knee in a delayed reaction after a body shot from Davis (AP)

Davis (29-0, 27 knockouts) had in fact correctly predicted the seventh-round stoppage ahead of the fight, and he said in the ring after the main event: “It was just me trying to get in his head. You really don’t know until you get in there.”

Meanwhile, a visibly disappointed Garcia was gracious in defeat. “It’s all love,” he said, moments after his record fell to 23-1 (19 KOs). “I was honoured to be in the ring with a great fighter.

“You’re a good man, bro,” he told Davis, before saying: “He just caught me with a good shot, I don’t wanna make no excuses in here. I couldn’t recover, and that’s all I gotta say.

“He caught me good, I couldn’t breathe. I was gonna get back up, but I just couldn’t. I think I gave him too much respect in the ring, I think that was my downfall.”

In the post-fight press conference, Garcia added: “I didn’t feel too good, I felt a little weak going into the ring; my legs didn’t feel too much under me. But once the fight got going, it kind of all came together. So, I can’t really pin [it on] that too much.”

Click here to subscribe to The Independent’s Sport YouTube channel for all the latest sports videos.