The sport of boxing can prove frustrating for being so risk-averse, much to the dismay of fans who clamor for the biggest showdowns possible, so fights like Saturday’s clash between young superstars Ryan Garcia and Gervonta “Tank” Davis are a rarity. But to both men’s credit, they forced the issue to make the fight happen, overcoming significant hurdles involving the politics that normally derail such contests. The two are set to throw down on Saturday night in Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV.
The fight features Davis’ tremendous technical skills and brutal knockout power being matched with Garcia’s long reach and blistering hand speed. It’s a massive risk for both men to face a bitter rival while still relatively early in their careers but those risks can pay off in raising the profile of both men.
“All he talks about is that one punch. I only need one too. I touch that jaw and I’m telling you, you’re going to sleep. I’ll probably break your jaw,” Davis said at the final press conference. “We’re here. Enough with the talking. I’m ready to get down and dirty. I’m from Baltimore city and you’ll see how we turn it come Saturday. See y’all then.
“He’s gonna feel me for sure. I am what I say I am. I’m that guy. I didn’t get all the way here for no reason. I put the work in and I got those guys out of there. He’s gonna see it come Saturday night for sure.”
CBS Sports will also have live coverage of the fight with round-by-round scoring and blow-by-blow updates to keep you up to date throughout the night.
And Davis and Garcia already hold status as among the most popular fighters in the sport, having cultivated followings through both in-ring performances and strong social media presences. All these factors combine for an intriguing fight that will draw significantly more attention than almost any other possible bout in the sport.
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“Everything is catching up to you. Everything is coming to a halt for you on Saturday night. You’re gonna learn the hard way,” Garcia said. “What an honor to be here. This is a dream come true. I’m seeing my face on the big screens at MGM and this is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a little boy. I’m very happy and excited. I don’t have much to say really, I’m just staying focused and preparing. I know there’s a big task at hand, but I’m gonna come out victorious.”
The undercard in Las Vegas is loaded up with interesting matchups before we get to the main event. Secondary WBA super middleweight champion David Morrell is back in action when he takes on late-replacement Yamaguchi Falcao in the co-main event. Morrell is hoping to earn his shot at Canelo Alvarez and the undisputed crown at 168 pounds if he continues to win.
“This is so exciting. I’m thrilled about the opportunity and I want to thank my whole team. This means a lot to me,” Morrell said. “I want a big name in my next fight, so this is the perfect fight and the perfect stage for me to prepare to face the best in the division. 100% I’m trying to send a message to David Benavidez. I want him to know that I’m ready. I’ve told everyone that I’m ready for all the best fighters at 168 pounds.”
With so much happening on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before we get to our staff predictions and picks for the PPV portion of the festivities.
Davis vs. Garcia fight card, odds
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook
- Gervonta “Tank” Davis -240 vs. Ryan Garcia +200, super lightweight
- David Morrell (c) -2000 vs. Yamaguchi Falcao +1000, WBA “regular” super middleweight title
- Bektemir Melikuziev -1400 vs. Gabriel Rosado +800, super middleweight
- Elija Garcia -1400 vs. Kevin Zambrano +800, middleweight
With such a massive main event on tap, the crew at CBS Sports went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your pick makers: Brent Brookhouse (Combat sports writer), Brian Campbell (Combat sports writer, co-host of “Morning Kombat”) and Shakiel Mahjouri (writer).
Davis vs. Garcia picks, predictions
Campbell: Garcia’s speed and length should give Davis enough pause early and allow “King” Ryan a chance to build an early lead by boxing. But few boxers today are better at patiently acquiring data than Davis before systematically breaking down their opponents late. While it’s hard to tell, exactly, whether whispers of a suspect chin for Garcia are true, Davis is too accurate and powerful to not make him pay for any key mistakes late. Unless Garcia chooses to risk it all and go for an early knockout, a late stoppage for the more experienced and well-rounded Davis feels inevitable. Davis via KO9
Brookhouse: Davis is a tremendous fighter and his power is nearly unrivaled on a pound-for-pound scale. He does find himself passive early in fights though, allowing men like Rolly Romero to take early rounds despite Davis being the better boxer in those bouts. Garcia is a better fighter than Romero, he’s a better technician, he’s a longer fighter and he has blistering speed. Yes, we can attribute Davis’ history of slow starts to the old “downloading data” cliche, but giving away rounds in a fight like this is a very dangerous game — think Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez. It is true that Garcia has shown defensive issues at times, however it is also true that the knockdown against Luke Campbell has been overblown into a narrative that Garcia has issues with his chin. Go back and watch that moment. Campbell cracked Garcia with as clean of a left hook as you can land and Garcia was up before the referee had even started his count, immediately on steady legs and with clear eyes — and he was the first man throwing power shots once the fight resumed. It was a shocking moment but not a moment where Garcia’s chin was exposed. I expect this fight plays out with Garcia winning early rounds off the jab and left hook, both of which will also be utilized to Davis’ body. That body work will have an effect as the fight wears on and will somewhat limit Davis’ eventual explosions. Garcia may hit the canvas, but if he can manage to get back to his feet, I think he does enough to edge out a close decision, possibly with one judge seeing the fight for Davis. Garcia via split decision
Mahjouri: Pay close attention as the fight approaches the midway point. Round 6 is the ballpark for when Davis will begin to take firm control. Garcia has enough tools to make the first half of the fight very competitive: length, speed and KO power that is under appreciated when measured against a fighter of Davis’ caliber. “Tank” is often slow to get rolling and Garcia can rack up rounds, leaning on his size advantage. It is Davis’ defensive strengths that will carry him late into the fight, where he will capitalize on reads and his opponent’s errors. Garcia’s fight with Luke Campbell exposed Garcia’s tendency to stand upright with his chin wide open. If Garcia is not perfect, “Tank” will eventually find his way into range and land a bazooka of a punch. Unfortunately, no one is perfect. Davis via KO8
Wise: The fight has been analyzed from every angle, but all that goes out the window once that opening bell sounds. The biggest concern for Davis is if he takes too long to get started looking for the perfect opening. He showed that against Rolando Romero, but he clearly knew that one punch could change the fight. Garcia is a different animal altogether, who is much quicker and longer than Romero. If Davis comes out slow, Garcia could pick up rounds and start to get into “Tank’s” head. All the pressure lies on Davis to deliver another spectacular moment, but it’s hard to bet against him doing just that again. Expect this fight to go deeper than many expect, but Davis finds the right spot late to get out of Las Vegas with the win. Davis via TKO10
Who wins Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia? And which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn’s best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers a profit of more than $4,000, and find out.