Monday, January 9, 2023

Will Ongoing Problems Outside The Ring Prevent Gervonta Davis From Facing Ryan Garcia?


A significant part of the story leading into Gervonta Davis’ bout with WBA Jr. Featherweight world champion Hector Garcia on January 7th at the Capital One Center in Washington, D. C. had little to do with the fight between the two being fought in the 135lb. Lightweight division and had little to do with the clash of styles between the two fighters. What it did have to do with was the question of whether the fight should take place following Davis being arrested on December 27th due to an alleged domestic violence incident in Broward County, Florida involving Davis and a former girlfriend, who is the mother of one of his children. Although the woman recanted her claims and the undefeated former Jr. Lightweight world champion would be released from custody and pled not guilty to the charge of domestic battery in the days prior to the bout, the ongoing case nevertheless did hang over the fight, which was allowed to go ahead as scheduled.


Normally prior to a fight such as this one, this observer likes to provide readers with a preview of the upcoming encounter. In this case, I decided not to do what is the normal routine prior to this fight simply because I had significant doubts as to whether it would be allowed to take place given the circumstances Davis found himself in prior to the bout. With the fight going forward as scheduled, it was logical to at least wonder if what had to be stressful and difficult circumstances would have an impact on Davis as he entered the ring to do battle with Hector Garcia.


Prior to the issues Davis found himself dealing with in the days prior to the bout, this was a clash of styles between a world-class boxer in Garcia and a fighter in Davis who can do a little of everything, but is known for having explosive punching power. This fight also had what is in some ways a rarity in that both Davis and Garcia are southpaws.


What stood out to me particularly in the early rounds was how Hector Garcia was seemingly able to control the range in which the fight was being fought. In that he was able to maintain a distance where he was able to engage with Davis, but also be elusive where he proved to be difficult to hit. Although this was not the most entertaining fight to watch in terms of action during this period, it did prove that this would be a difficult fight for Davis. While both fighters executed their offense in spurts, it was Garcia who was seemingly able to get the better of it with his jab and landing his left hand from the southpaw stance.


As the fight progressed, the two fighters began to open up more with their offense and it was Davis who seemed to take control particularly due to his being able to land short compact combinations that appeared to have more power on them as compared to Garcia’s punches. It nevertheless, remained a competitive fight as the bout moved into the middle rounds.


Despite the issues that Davis was dealing with prior to the fight, it appeared as though the fight itself would be void of any controversy. There was however, an incident early in the eighth round where the fight was temporarily halted due to what appeared to be a disturbance in the crowd. Although it is rare to see something like that happen, it has happened before, most notably in the second encounter between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield in November 1993 where a man infamously attempted to fly into the ring in the middle of the fight in the outdoor arena at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that caused a significant delay in the bout. Fortunately, this disturbance would only last a couple of minutes and the fight continued.


It would be in the eighth round where Davis would open up and stagger Garcia with a combination of punches to the head highlighted by his left hand that appeared to have Garcia hurt in the closing seconds of the round. At the end of the eighth round, Garcia informed his corner that he could not see and that resulted in a fight being stopped as Garcia failed to answer the bell for round nine giving Davis a technical knockout victory. Ultimately, Gervonta Davis did what he had to do in order to gain a victory and remain undefeated.


With his victory over Hector Garcia now behind him, the stage is seemingly set for Davis to meet undefeated top Lightweight contender Ryan Garcia in the spring of this year. Whether or not that fight will take place remains to be seen however, as Davis continues to go through legal problems outside the ring as in addition to the domestic battery charge that nearly derailed his fight with Hector Garcia, Davis will stand trial in February for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run incident in November 2020 in his hometown of Baltimore, MD.


Obviously, whether or not a fight with Ryan Garcia or any fight for that matter inside the Boxing ring taking place will depend on not only the outcome of that trial, but also the still open case in Florida on the domestic battery charge. While it is important to keep in mind that anyone going through these type circumstances are innocent until proven guilty, the circumstances that Davis finds himself in could ultimately derail his Boxing career. If he is able to get through these particular circumstances without an interruption to his Boxing career, it may be wise for him to add members to his team that can provide both guidance as well as wisdom going forward.


For a fighter, who is only twenty-eight years old and is not yet at his peak, there is no telling just how far Gervonta Davis could go in his career. If he is unable to straighten things out for himself outside the ring, unfortunately his career might end up being placed under the category of what might have been. For now, the only thing that can realistically be said about Davis and his career inside the ring is “To Be Continued?”


“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”


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