Promoter Leonard Ellerbe calls Gervonta Davis the hardest puncher in boxing today. That can be debated, but one person who wouldn’t argue much is Hugo Ruiz.
Davis stopped Ruiz, fighting for the first time at super featherweight, following a dominant performance in their bout for the WBA 130-pound title Saturday in the main event of a Showtime-televised card at the Dignity Health Sports Park.
It was Davis’ 12th knockout in succession and 20th in 21 professional fights, all of which have been victories. It was obvious in the opening seconds that Ruiz, who took the fight on short notice when former world champion Abner Mares pulled out because of a detached retina, was clearly outgunned.
The end came at 2:59 of the first after Ruiz arose from a knockdown. Davis hit him with a big straight right, a hard jab and then a crushing right hook. One of those punches appeared to break Ruiz’s nose. Ruiz delayed a second and then dropped to a knee.
He got up at nine, but when referee Jack Reiss asked him in both English and Spanish if he wanted to continue, he didn’t answer. That led Reiss to call it off.
It was an impressive though expected win for Davis, who needed two attempts Friday to hit the 130-pound super featherweight limit. He originally weighed in a quarter-pound over.
On Saturday, though, he was sharp and fast and far too much for Ruiz.
“Tonight, I just wanted to put on a great performance,” Davis said. “I was scheduled to fight Abner Mares, but he had an eye injury, so my main goal tonight was to make a great performance, which I did.”
Davis clearly has major talent but hasn’t been particularly active. He said afterward he wants to fight at least three more times this year.
His power is always a factor, and he began showing it early with punishing shots to the body. Ruiz didn’t like those and it never got any better.
Davis showed poise as he broke down his retreating opponent.
“I knew it was coming,” Davis said. “When I touched him with the jab, I seen his arm was in front of his face, so I knew if I threw a hook or an uppercut, it was right there to land.”
Land it did and it was more than Ruiz can handle.
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