Gervonta Davis to face Hector Garcia on Jan. 7 in prelude to Ryan Garcia bout

The path to Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia just became more clear.

Davis, a 135-pound contender, will face 130-pound titleholder Hector Garcia on Jan. 7 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., a fight that is expected to lead to a showdown with Garcia in the spring, it was announced Friday.

Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs) stunned the boxing world by easily outpointing hot prospect Chris Colbert in February and following that by taking Roger Gutierrez’s WBA belt by a one-sided decision in August.

However, moving up in weight to face a fighter of Davis’ ability will be a daunting challenge for the 31-year-old Dominican.

It was announced Thursday that Davis and Garcia intend to meet in a compelling matchup of popular young knockout artists if they win interim bouts, although Garcia hasn’t confirmed he will have a fight before meeting Davis.

Davis also has a legal issue he must overcome. The 28-year-old from Baltimore is scheduled to be tried on Dec. 12 for an alleged hit-and-run incident in November 2020.

Still, Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions confirmed the projected Davis-Garcia event.

Said Stephen Espinoza, president of Showtime Sports: ““Tank Davis vs. Ryan Garcia is one of the biggest and most exciting fights that can be made in boxing. We have two supremely talented boxers, both in their prime, who have amassed huge fanbases, meeting in a career defining fight. This is the epitome of a crossover boxing event. All credit to Tank and Ryan for staying the course and giving the fans the fight they want.”

Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy tweeted his confirmation.

“The fans have been crystal clear that the fight they want is Ryan versus Tank,” De La Hoya said. “Golden Boy Promotions and I are proud to be leading the drive to get this fight signed and are excited to get a deal finalized ASAP. It’s high time that those outside the ring stop getting in the way of those who want nothing more than to get into the ring and fight.”

Davis is a former two-time 130-pound titleholder who also won secondary titles at 135 and 140, going 5-0 (5 KOs) in championship fights. He gave up all of his belts.

“Tank” is coming off a sixth-round knockout of Rolando Romero at 135 this past May. That followed a unanimous decision over stubborn Isaac Cruz in December, a bout in which Davis said he fought with an injured hand.

Garcia, 24, took a break from boxing last year to deal with his mental health but returned to defeat Emmanuel Tagoe (UD) and formidable Javier Fortuna (KO 6) in April and July in 140-pound bouts, respectively.

The Los Angeles-area fighter’s biggest victory came in January of last year, when he knocked out 2012 Olympic champion Luke Campbell in seven round at 135.

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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie