Gervonta Davis vs Hector Luis Garcia preview, predictions and betting odds
Battle of the unbeaten WBA belt-holders
Gervonta “Tank” Davies (27-0, 25KO) defends his WBA lightweight title to the WBA super-featherweight champion Hector “El Androide” Luis Garcia (16-0, 10KO) on January 7 at the Capital One Arena, Washington, headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
It’s the first world title bout of 2023 and what a fight to kickstart the New Year with!
Hector Garcia is a Rio 2016 Olympian who made his pro debut immediately after the Games in December 2016, winning via third-round stoppage.
He stopped seven from his first 10 opponents before winning his maiden title – the WBA Fedelatin featherweight – via second-round stoppage over Robin Zamora to complete his second full year in the pro ranks.
His next big win came a few years later, in December 2021, when he dominated Isaac Avelar over eight rounds in his second bout in America. Garcia was decked in the very first round by a counter left hook from Avelar, but got straight back up to take over the fight. Even in that opening round Garcia outlanded Avelar despite the flash knockdown. He landed some big shots, hurting Avelar regularly, but his foe stayed in there, eventually scoring a unanimous decision.
The 31-year-old Puerto Rican has been able to knockout opponents with single shots, namely the backhand straight left thrown at speed and also with his short right hook.
He is a volume puncher, very busy, often throwing much more than his opponents, which is a high workrate to match. He is very patient too, if he has his man hurt, he doesn’t rush in and smother his work, he is able to step back at the right distance to reel off shot after shot, but there’s not much real power behind them, just relentless pressure.
We have seen that Garcia can be knocked down, and against someone like Davis it’s almost inevitable this fate will await him at some point in the fight.
The Caribbean combatant moves his head and body well when he’s anticipating a punch to counter, but when he’s attacking, he can leave his head on the centre-line for too long, which Gervonta will take full advantage of with his sharp counter-attacks.
He fights with his hands sightly low, carrying his southpaw lead right in a sling, another opening Davis can and will exploit.
Also a southpaw, Davis is a sharp fighter; he moves extremely well on the backfoot as well as laterally to never be in the firing line for more than a couple of shots at a time.
He counters incredibly well, owing to his handspeed and ability to judge the range so well. The 28-year-old Baltimore boxer stays in range but moves his upper trunk so well and his feet so quickly that he evades most of what is thrown at him.
His last big test was against an aggressive Isaac Cruz, who was very forceful early in the fight, but became more subdued by the middle rounds after missing so many punches, eventually only landing 121 from 553 punches thrown, according to CompuBox after the fight.
Cruz had the right idea though, he targeted the body, stayed in close and tried to smother Davis with an abundance of left and right hooks, and he kept the fight very close throughout. It was a bit similar to the performance of Marcos Maidana in his first fight with Floyd Mayweather. The difference was how much more accurate and economical Davis was with his shots, landing 29% compared to Isaac’s 22%, throwing less but landing more to win the fight unanimously.
“Tank” is a big puncher, his short hooks and uppercuts are potent. His KO ratio of almost 93% is a fearsome stat for someone who has had 11 world title fights, only the aforementioned Cruz making it to the final bell. When you’re picking Davis to win a fight, you’re almost always expecting him to win by KO.
What’s interesting is that Davis announced a different unbeaten Garcia for his next fight – he is set to meet with Ryan Garcia in early 2023, but first has Hector Garcia to get through. Could this next date in the diary be a distraction for Davis? Could he be overlooking Luis Garcia, who was able to score a career-best win against Chris Colbert at just 19 days notice? Let’s see…
I’ll first start by answering my previous questions. I don’t believe “Tank” is distracted by the Ryan Garcia fight, instead I give the man credit for lining up two unbeaten boxers in a row, both very tough challenges to get through.According to British sports betting experts, the current bookies favourite is Gervonta Davis, his odds are 1/10 and Garcia is the outsider at 20/1.
Not only is Davis an impressive, skilful fighter; he is also a tough dude, brought up in a harsh environment in crime-ridden towns in Baltimore. This is what has shaped him into the hardened, violent puncher he is today.
Garcia is also tough, and very experienced; you don’t get to become an Olympian for no reason. He has earned his status as an Olympian and a world champion because of his incredible skill and attributes as an athlete.
Davis is also experienced though, with an amateur record of 205-15 after first beginning boxing at the young age of five, winning several Silver and Golden Gloves trophies. He is currently ranked No.2 lightweight by The Ring Magazine, sandwiched inbetween Vasiliy Lomachenko and future foe Ryan Garcia.
Both are experienced amateurs, southpaws, and unbeaten world champions, but I predict Davis to win by knockout between rounds 7-12.