Results and lessons from the Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis match: What we discovered about each combatant and their future plans

There was a lot of information on both Davis and Garcia that was missing before the superfight in Las Vegas.

Young, unbeaten, and wildly popular boxers are frequently discouraged from entering the ring for major matchups because to the tradeoff between risk and profit. On Saturday night inside T-Mobile Arena, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Ryan Garcia entered the ring after determining the benefit outweighed the risk. Davis ultimately came out on top, knocking out his opponent with a body shot in the seventh round to cement his status as potentially “the face of boxing.”

Both fighters had their moments in the suspenseful match, but Davis had the largest thanks to a significant knockdown he received from a left punch in the second round.

One man was always going to walk out a larger star and the other would be forced to take a step back, recover, and get their career back on track after years of trash talking and pushing for the fight to happen — and forcing their respective promoters and networks to work out a deal.

Let’s look at the lessons learned by both guys from this epic confrontation.

Gervonta “Tank” Davis

What we learned:Garcia’s quickness, left hook, and body work were three of his most regarded advantages going into the battle. Davis matched Garcia’s speed to the point where, when the two were engaged in combat, Davis repeatedly said, “You’re slow.” to Garcia. He virtually eliminated Garcia’s left hook from the fight as well. Garcia had a lot of aggression in the second round, but Davis dodged a wild left hook and instantly readied himself for another, slamming Garcia to the chin for a knockdown. Garcia mainly stopped using the left hook after that. Of fact, Davis was the one who increased the significance of the body shots. Garcia did strike the body with multiple left hands, However, Davis persisted in focusing on Garcia’s body as well, and eventually, his own left punch to the ribs forced Garcia to respond slowly and take a knee, which ended the fight.

The face of boxing @Gervontaa stops Garcia in round 7 with a VICIOUS body shot 😱 #DavisGarcia

— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 23, 2023

All of this demonstrates Davis’ skill as a fighter. Yes, in terms of pound-for-pound power, he ranks right up there with Deontay Wilder in boxing. Davis doesn’t throw a lot of punches because he doesn’t want to exhaust his opponent; instead, he only wants to find the right place to apply his strength precisely. Beyond that strength, he possesses a boxing mentality that enables him to understand situations and make adjustments throughout a fight as well as almost anyone in the sport. Davis was aware of Garcia’s strengths and weaknesses, had firsthand experience with them in the ring, and finally neutralized all of Garcia’s most effective strategies.

What we actually discovered about Davis was that our preconceived notions were accurate. He is an extremely skilled and dangerous fighter who has a deep understanding of the game, which gives him an advantage.

What’s next:For Davis, there is one area where things are not all peaches and rainbows, and that region is right in his near future. After entering a guilty plea to a hit-and-run that occurred on November 5, 2020 and left a pregnant woman and three other people injured, Davis is due in court on May 5. After Davis entered a guilty plea, there was no agreement on how long he would serve in prison. It is unclear whether Davis will spend any time in jail and how that time would effect his career.

Davis sits in an unusual location after putting that aside. Even though Devin Haney weighs 135 pounds, he is perhaps the best lightweight in the world. On May 20, Haney is already scheduled to face Vasiliy Lomachenko and defend his four world championships. What happens next is very much up in the air, but Davis is not a Top Rank fighter and Top Rank wields a lot of influence over what happens with those belts. However, Davis does have the secondary WBA lightweight belt, giving him some leverage should he decide to pursue that course of action.

Davis has also competed at junior welterweight, when he defeated Mario Barrios to win the secondary WBA title. Nevertheless, Davis’ insistence that Garcia accept a 136-pound catchweight with rehydration requirements doesn’t indicate a strong desire to increase to 140 pounds on a regular basis, which makes sense given that Garcia is just 5 feet 5 inches tall.

The A-side in any future fight is Davis. Just where he wants to fight, what objectives he wants to pursue, and when he will even be physically capable of fighting again are all up in the air.

Ryan Garcia

What we learned:For the second time in his career, Garcia was felled after being caught flush with a vicious left hook. Garcia was essentially up before the referee even began the count, just as it was against Luke Campbell. There are men with weak chins and men who fall but swiftly get up again. Garcia’s chin appears unharmed. Even though he isn’t being finished off by clean shots, he might never be able to overcome his defensive flaws because they are so ingrained in him. Garcia occasionally leaves his chin too exposed, and he suffers greatly as a result. However, if he can take a punch from Davis’ strength and swiftly get to his feet and stand on solid legs, it seems reasonable to argue that he has a good chin.

.@Gervontaa DROPS Ryan in Round 2 😱 #DavisGarcia

— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 23, 2023

During the bout, Garcia made some significant improvements as well. After the first round, Garcia’s trainer Joe Goosen instructed him to practice his right hand, and even though the right hand was rarely cited as one of his strongest weapons, it ended up being Garcia’s best shot for the remainder of the fight. It’s encouraging to watch a warrior that can quickly adapt, even when they are losing.

Garcia isn’t a finished product, or if he is, it’s a significant problem, as we also found. Garcia is still a young fighter in the boxing world at the age of just 24. He has a lot of room to develop, both physically and in terms of his abilities. Few fighters can be as problematic as Davis, and Garcia still has a ton of potential if he chooses to fight instead of abruptly retiring to become a social media star.

What’s next:Garcia needs to be equipped to handle immediate criticism. After taking a knee from Davis’ left to the body, both fighters and spectators are already saying that he “gave up” and “could have gone on.” Body shot knockouts are common, but they might be challenging to comprehend. When a fighter’s body refuses to cooperate, it appears as though he is giving up; but, frequently, “just getting up” really portends a more violent demise. Garcia’s first challenge moving forward is adjusting to the criticism and mentally accepting the fact that he is no longer a boxer who has never lost. Can he handle having to acknowledge that he is just as fallible as the men he has killed with his own body shots?

Garcia is obviously no longer a lightweight. He had already started gaining weight at 140 pounds and even appeared uneasy about it. Remaining below 140 looks to be a terrible decision. He is still young and developing, thus depleting his body is not a wise strategy for his future.

All class from @RyanGarcia 🙌#DavisGarcia

— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 23, 2023

Fortunately, assuming Garcia accepts one or two “get-right fights,” there are a ton of tempting possibilities at junior welterweight, including other well-known fighters like Teofimo Lopez and Josh Taylor, who are already scheduled to square off on June 10. The winner or loser of the contest, as well as contests involving Regis Prograis, Jack Catterall, Jose Ramirez, Gary Antuanne Russell, and others, would be major draws. It’s time for Garcia to adapt to a new weight class and show off his best self because the lightweight division is in the past.