The waiting game towards an eventual clash between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia went back-and-forth the past year . When would the two undefeated and young boxing superstars meet for supremacy? Months later they signed the contracts and we had a mega fight.
Wednesday, at the Palladium in the heart of Time Square in New York City, we had another waiting game. This time, Davis, almost two hours late for the first of two city back-to-back press conferences to officially kick off Davis versus Garcia April 22 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and televised on Showtime Pay-Per-View.
And for whatever reason that detained Davis, he apologized to the promoters (GTD, TGB, and Golden Boy), it was worth the wait. Differences aside about punctuality, something the 24-year Garcia has never had an issue with, there was that anticipated faceoff.
A faceoff that led to words but no punches thrown, then again this fight needs no hype and they will face off again Thursday in Los Angeles. I have alluded to this many times that boxing needs a fight like this one, two different promotions working alongside each other that made this happen with different televised deals. In the end, Showtime PPV got the rights. Davis versus Garcia could generate a million buys and that would be another story in itself.
But a fight of this magnitude leads to boxing needing more of this with opposing promoters and networks coming together for the fans that deserve more. Davis and Garcia can go jaw-to-jaw as to who the better fighter is, though both agree this fight is good for the sport.
A generational fight reminiscent of the glory days when the late Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran, Hall of Famers faced off and deciding who was the superior fighter in what was a great 1980’s era.
This version of a generational fight, delivered in a different era with social media, could lead to another and possibly a trilogy with no titles at stake, 12-rounds and an agreed catchweight of 136. Davis and Garcia will take their ride in boxing history and could move up in weight where they can test more of the elite fighters at junior welterweight.
Back to Wednesday. We had to wait for the eventual arrival of Davis, his habit of sorts that is sometimes displayed with a slow start in beginning rounds before throwing a devastating right. Those in the media were allowed access via a credential filing process which exemplifies the demand of this fight.
And CompuBox the official ringside punch and jab analysis gurus got into the hype posting stats, unprecedented prior to any fight. How about this:
A battle of power punches, as 20.9 of their combined landed punches (84.3%) are power shots.
Less is more for Davis, who threw 34.2 punches per round, fewest among champ caliber opponents and landed 47.6% of his power punches -#1 among champ caliber opponents.
31.3% of Davis’ landed punches are body shots
Garcia like Davis is selective, landing 12.8 of 41.3 punches per round
Garcia landed 43.5% of his power punches (11.1 of 25.5 per round )
Garcia landed just 1.7 of 15.8 jabs per round
Davis’ low punch output will be nothing new for Garcia, who’s opponents have just 30.9 punches per round.
Two fighters with talent and with a tremendous fan base, though, Ryan, with 1.5 million Instagram and other social media handles is known as “King Ryan” and Davis claims to have over 4.1 Instagram followers.
Though social media played a significant role in putting this fight on the calendar, it was pushed back from the April 15 date that was scheduled. Davis and Garcia downplayed the social media influence, they said it all matters in the ring.
What mattered is that Garcia asked for this fight. Davis had a successful tune up in January and Garcia stayed in the gym instead of risking an injury that would jeopardize what got them here.
This fight, though, should live up to expectations. Both fighters are in that category of young superstars, undefeated, evenly matched, though Davis to many has had the better jab. Garcia, considered American with Mexican heritage, has the power and knockout punch with a right and the height advantage.
Latest Odds haven’t moved much: FanDuel: -310 that David maintains his unbeaten record
while Garcia is a +260 underdog. The Draw is a +1800 shot
In six weeks we will know more, who is the better fighter? Garcia “The King” or Davis known as “Tank?” Regardless, as both fighters said, this is what fans and boxing needs.
Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube