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Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia: Boxing Junkie 5-Point Analysis

The 136-pound fight between young stars Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas is surrounded by a lot of hoopla.

Underneath is a fascinating boxing match.

Davis is known as one of the most-complete fighters in the world, a sublime boxer with the ability to end any fight in an instant. Garcia, while not as established as his rival, has similar assets.

Who has the edge in specific categories? Let’s have a look in this five-part breakdown of the fight.

GERVONTA DAVIS (28-0, 26 KOs)
VS. RYAN GARCIA (23-0, 19 KOs)

Date: Saturday, May 22
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
TV: Pay-per-view
Division: 136-pound catch weight
At stake: No major titles
Current win streak: Davis 28, Garcia 23
Ages: Davis 28, Garcia 24
Stances: Davis southpaw, Garcia orthodox
Trajectory: Davis rising, Garcia rising
Also fighting: David Morrell Jr. vs. Yamaguchi Falcao, super middleweights; Gabriel Rosado vs. Bektemir Melikuziev, super middleweights; Elijah Garcia vs. Kevin Salgado, middleweight
Worth watching (up to five stars)? *****

 

NATURAL GIFTS

Davis

Davis was born with all the attributes necessary to become a great fighter – speed, athleticism, reflexes, punching power and durability. That and two decades of hard work in the gym have made him as formidable a fighting machine as anyone in boxing. He wasn’t blessed with great length but his ability more than compensates for that deficiency, if that’s what it is.

Garcia

Many believe that Garcia has the fastest hands in boxing, which is a tremendously valuable asset. And those who have taken his punches marvel at his power, which rivals that of Davis. He’s also a good athlete, although he’s not as fluid as Davis is. He also has good length – 5-foot-10, 70-inch reach – for a 135-140-pounder and he knows how to use it.

Edge: Even

 

SKILL SET

Davis

Davis is known for his punching power but he has elite skills, including underestimated defensive ability. He had an extensive amateur career, reportedly compiling a record of 206-15. That and more than 10 years as a pro have providing him with polished skills. He’s a master at sizing up opponents, cutting off the ring and landing hard, accurate shots that break them down.

Garcia

Garcia is definitely not one dimensional, as Davis has painted him. In fact, his path in boxing is similar to that of Davis. He reportedly had an amateur record of 215-15, giving him the basic skills required to succeed. And he has continued to work on his craft as a pro. Both of these men know their way around a ring.

Edge: Davis

 

PUNCHING POWER

Davis

Davis’ knockout percentage (93%) is one of the best for a reason. Gifted fighters often stop inferior foes early in their careers but that generally changes when they graduate to elite opposition. That hasn’t been the case with Davis, who has continued to KO almost everyone in his path. Isaac Cruz took him the distance but Davis fought one-handed because of an injury.

Garcia

Garcia’s left hook is one of the most lethal punched in boxing, perhaps second only Deontay Wilder’s straight right. And he lands it to both the head and body. He also can hurt opponents with his right hand, regardless of what Davis says. He, like Davis, is adept at setting his feet in the ideal position and range, which allows him to land devastating bombs.

Edge: Even

 

EXPERIENCE

Davis

The only flaw on Davis’ resume is that he has yet to face a fellow pound-for-pounder, which should come soon. And he has fought only 123 rounds over more than a decade because of his stoppages. That said, he’s been there and done that. Again, he had 200-plus amateur fights. And he has taken part in many big fights against elite opponents as a pro.

Garcia

Garcia is young (24) but he’s no newbie. He has the deep amateur background, which provided him with valuable experience. And while he’s still building his pro resume and has fought only 83 rounds, he has had a number of high-profile fights. That includes knockouts of Luke Campbell and Javier Fortuna. He shouldn’t be fazed by the magnitude of his meeting with Davis.

Edge: Davis

 

DURABILITY

Davis

Has he ever been hurt? If so, I can’t remember it. In addition to all the things Davis can do well, he appears to have one of the best chins in the sport. Of course, his jaw could face its stiffest test against Garcia. The hand injury Davis suffered against Cruz is a sign that his body isn’t indestructible but that could happen to anyone.

Garcia

Garcia has been on the canvas but the fact he got up to win by knockout – against Campbell – and has never been seriously hurt is an indication of a solid chin. We’ll learn more about his ability to take a punch on Saturday. He’s also big for his weight, which can only help him against Davis and going forward. We’ll see whether a rehydration clause affects Garcia’s stamina.

Edge: Davis

 

PREDICTION

Garcia probably will give Davis problems early in the fight, jabbing to keep Davis at range, sticking and moving, and stopping long enough to deliver power shots here and there. However, Davis, true to form, will patiently adjust, close the distance on Garcia and land more and more power shots as the fight progresses. Garcia will prove to be tough but even a big, strong fighter can take only so many blows from one of the biggest punchers in the sport. Davis will have broken down Garcia by around the eighth or ninth round and either score a late knockout or win a wide decision going away.

Davis KO 9

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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie