Speed kills. When the rubber meets the road and whatever else cliché phrasing that fits the description for Saturday night’s major event live on Showtime PPV from the fight capital of the world in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia face off in a main event that has captured the casual fanbase. Another old saying “to the winner goes the spoils” works perfectly. Whoever gets their hand raised will be crowed the king of the new wave. Both of these boxers are the leaders of the new school when it comes to star attraction and social media followings.
Tank is a star based off his live gate revenue, selling out venues from the east to the west and all the way down south in Atlanta. This will be his first headliner in Las Vegas and assuming the reports are true the tickets sales place this fight in the Top-10 all time for boxing events. Ryan Garcia’s popularity on Instagram came even before he was at contender range, but don’t let his good looks and slick mouth fool you, the young man can fight. With over 200 amateur bouts along with possessing real deal speed and power, Garcia is a very dangerous opponent for anyone at the increasingly deep lightweight division.
Much has been made about the negotiations for this matchup focusing on the catchweight and the rehydration clause. First things first, Ryan Garcia and his team agreed to terms so a lot of this is a mute point. Ryan made it known after his fight in the summer with Javier Fortuna that he wanted the Tank Davis fight at 140. Floyd Mayweather replied on social media to those terms demanding it take place at 135. Shortly after Garcia replied he would fight at 135 stating “let’s see what the excuse will be now”. In reality behind closed doors (according to Ryan) they had worked out a number being 138 only for Gervonta’s side to then supposedly change it to 136.
Clearly the catchweight item came from Garcia’ side which like it or not opened the door for the rehydration clause. Mario Barrios and a big dude like Rollie Romero didn’t have to worry about the next day weigh in clause so in reality each guy attempted to get an advantage of sorts. Gervonta did fight at 140 versus Barrios but returned for 3 fights now back at 135 and made it clear that’s his weight class. For some time Ryan, his father, and even his well-respected trainer Joe Goosen have made it clear that weight won’t be an issue neither will the next day weigh in. Again as was stated previously Ryan Garcia signed on the dotted line, case closed. Many folks have said it will have a serious affect on Ryan even before seeing his body on the scale which to me is a red flag. Some of these boxing predictors have been obviously swayed to disliking Tank likely for his outside the ring legal issues and questionable behavior in general. That’s not to say the weight won’t have an affect but let’s see it first before acting as if it’s a 100 percent fact.
Let’s get back inside the ring and break down the Xs and Os to this highly-anticipated scrap that could do anywhere from 500,000 PPV buys all the way up to say 700,000-800,000. With both men still in their 20’s this truly is a kingmaker type affair and the face of boxing prize along with Canelo in America. High speed chess could be used to describe this one with the speed being the highlight for both fighters. Time will tell if Ryan Garcia is a checkers player or in fact can play boxing chess. Tank has already been seasoned showing he has more than one way to skin a cat. Early in his career Gervonta was more in the way of seek and destroy in an aggressive manner. Of late we’ve seen another layer to Gervonta as a thinker and defensive boxer waiting for the right time to strike with menacing counter punches.
Ryan Garcia hasn’t quite shown his overall boxing ability in the paid ranks instead relying on his hand speed and whipping left hook. Placing his left hook to the body or head most of the time throwing it as a lead not even setting it properly behind the jab. The jab is a great place to start. Both men have it in their arsenal but haven’t had to rely on it as much as they need to in this fight. If Ryan can disguise his left hook by using his jab at times doubling it up with authority it will do him wonders. Tank may use his jab paired with footwork to either evade punches on the outside moving laterally or to jab his way inside setting up his power shots.
Both guys reach in spots when they punch, Ryan more than Davis. This would be an ideal fight for Ryan to fight at range in the early goings instead of being too aggressive attacking. If Ryan is at safer distance it will make it difficult for Davis to reach him and force him to take risk. This fight will likely take some rounds to build and this boxing junkie assumes both men will be patient in the few frames respecting their power. Tank has given away the early rounds in several outings in a row so we should probably think he’ll do the same here. He can’t be too tentative though because it will put him in a tough spot down on the scorecards needing to score a knockout or a few knockdowns.
The most important key is footwork and defense, that’s where this boxing podcaster sides with Tank. Ryan not only leaves his chin up in the air too many times per fight but his footwork is a weakness. Regardless if Ryan’s backing up or on the offensive, doing it in straight lines will get you hit flush and ultimately stopped. Gervonta has quick enough feet and upper body movement to avoid damage at a higher percentage. Head movement and angles is a must for Ryan Garcia and Tank. At some point mid to late Tank will be able to get on the inside and dig to the body.
Tank has more paths to victory as an overall fighter and not just defensively. Offensively Tank can power punch with variety starting with upper cuts with either hand. Overhand or straight lefts and of course left/right hooks. If Tank takes this fight to the inside after seceding too many rounds Ryan Garcia will have to clinch. Ryan should get off to an expected great start but can he keep winning rounds? Both boxers are susceptible to touching the canvas or at the very least taking punishing shots. On Saturday will get to find out who will stand up to those punches. From a fans perspective let’s hope we get a great fight that warrants a rematch.
My Official Prediction is Gervonta Davis 11th round Stoppage.
Side Note: On DAZN during the afternoon don’t miss Joe Cordina vs. Shavkatdzhon Rakimov in what should be a very competitive bout.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio