Gervonta Davis delivered the knockout punch to Ryan Garcia, remaining unbeaten with a 29-0 record.
On Saturday (April 22), the two boxers faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with each athlete entering the catchweight exhibition undefeated.
However, early in the 7th round, as the fighters traded blows and feints, Davis struck Garcia in the ribcage, sending the California native to his knees for the win.
“He caught me with a good shot,” Garcia told Yahoo Sports, discussing the devastating blow. “[I will make] no excuses in here. I just couldn’t recover. That’s it. That’s all I have to say. He caught me with a good body shot. I’m not saying nothing but yeah, I couldn’t breathe. I was going to get back up but yeah, I couldn’t get back up.”
For Davis, 28, he knew he had the fight in the bag and began playing mind games after the lethal punch, ESPN reports.
“I thought he was going to get up,” he said. “But I like to play mind games, so when he was looking at me, I was looking at him trying to tell him, ‘Get up,’ and then he just shook his head, ‘No.'”
Before the KO, he had been building momentum using Ryan’s mistakes to his advantage. During the second round, Garcia overextended himself. Davis responded by evading and countering with a left hook cracking him in the face.
The Baltimore-born athlete spoke simply about his performance and his strategy to throw his opponent off his game. “It was me just trying to get into his head, you know,” Gervonta expressed. “I really don’t know. But once I got in there with him, I felt skill-wise, it would be all me.”
Judges evaluated the exhibition, granting Davis the win with scores of 58-56, 59-56, and 59-55.