After the fight: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis solidifies stardom

After the fight: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis solidified what most people in boxing already knew; that he is a star and one of boxing’s biggest attractions.

It was the first weekend of the new year, and Showtime hosted a boxing PPV event headlined by one of the sport’s biggest attractions; WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (28-0). A sellout crowd of 19,731 packed the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., to see the 28-year-old from Baltimore, MD, perform on a chilly night in the nation’s capital. Celebrities, athletes, hip-hop artists, and social media influencers were in attendance, which doesn’t happen too often in boxing and is reserved for those possessing special drawing power.

This was the first fight where Davis wasn’t backed by Mayweather Promotions, who groomed ‘Tank’ as the next PPV star. Regardless, the one thing that still needed to happen was for Davis to perform and look entertaining. Hector Luis Garcia (16-1) came into the ring hungry and wanting to earn the riches that would follow the defeat of Davis. The first round was almost too tactical as both men were feinting and partaking in the old-age war of foot placement and distance. The second round was more of that, but Garcia started to feel comfortable enough to throw the right jab at a distance far enough that Davis would have to lunge to land something significant.

Garcia was boxing beautifully, and Davis seemed to be trying to figure out how to solve the puzzle and gauge his opponent’s punching power. While this was occurring, there were moments where ‘Tank’ was landing harder shots than the previous round, and you started to feel that he was ready to press the gas on his offense. When the third round started, you saw Davis begin to apply pressure and shorten the distance that Garcia had established in the prior rounds. Still, Garcia seemed to have the edge in ring generalship over Davis. Garcia was winning the battle, but Davis was slowly winning the war.

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis’ win on Showtime PPV further solidified his stardom.

In the preview leading up to the fight, I had mentioned that Garcia needed to avoid staying in the trenches too long as he tends to get defensively careless, and as the rounds started to mount up, you could see that happening. Davis was landing hard shots to the body, followed by the big left hook upstairs, eventually leading to the fight’s end. With Davis landing even more shots into the eighth round, the crowd started to stand up, and it felt like the end could occur at any moment.

Towards the end of the eighth round, ‘Tank’ rocked Garcia with a hard left hook to the side of his head, but the bell saved him after being on very shaky legs. Once Garcia sat down, he immediately started to talk to his trainer Bob Santos about not being able to see. After much discussion, the corner stopped the fight, and ‘Tank’ Davis was awarded the ninth-round TKO victory.

The fight with Garcia was the appetizer to the main course, which is a fight with Ryan Garcia (23-0) tentatively scheduled for April 15th. Right now, both camps have verbally agreed to the terms associated with the two getting in the ring, but there still hasn’t been any ink placed on a contract by both men. In today’s boxing world, that means the fight is far from signed. A mega fight between these two young pugilists means there is a ton of money to be made, and who gets what slice from where has to get sorted out, and that can get ugly when trying to decide those details. Regardless, this is the fight that not only the boxing public wants to see but the pop culture does as well.

Aside from the potential showdown with ‘KingRy,’ Davis has proven to be a bonafide box office attraction. He has sold many tickets at venues across the country, and his fights are in high demand, as Mike Tyson’s were during the height of his career. The general public loves seeing knockouts and will get behind a fighter that brings excitement, making them pay thousands of dollars for a chance to witness it live.

Everyone is well aware of the happenings outside of the ring, and Davis will need time to process those things as they come, but when it comes to what he does in the ring, there is no question that he is a star. The only question that remains is how far can he take his stardom, and can ‘Tank’ remain focused enough to prevent things from getting in the way of that? Only time will tell, but seeing how electric it was on Saturday night, the ‘Tank’ Davis show is here to stay for a long time.