By Jeff Aranow: Former IBF super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) failed to impress in stopping #7 IBF Francisco Fonseca (19-1-1, 13 KOs) by an 8th round knockout last Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Davis, 22, lost his IBF 130 lb. title when he came in 2 pounds over the weight limit for the division last Friday at the weigh-in. The IBF title was on the line for Fonseca, but not for Davis.
Davis looked big during the fight. Fonseca said Davis had rehydrated to 160 pounds. That’s an unreal amount of weight for a super featherweight to rehydrate to. Davis weighed in at 132 lbs. So, if he did rehydrate to 160, he put on 28 lbs. of water weight. That might explain the sluggish way that Davis fought in the fight. It wouldn’t explain why Davis chose to showboat so frequently. Davis looked like he had been transformed into another Adrien Broner type of fighter. Before tonight’s fight, Davis wasn’t the type to do a lot of showboating, but that changed for this fight for some reason. Fonseca wasn’t doing anything to bring this out of Davis. Fonseca was just trying to win the fight. It’s unclear what caused Davis to choose to clown so much for this contest.
The ending of the fight was controversial with Davis hitting Fonseca with a right hand behind the head, and then roughly shoving him to the canvas when he grabbed him around the waist to keep from falling. It appeared the Fonseca was hurt badly by the punch behind the head, as he needed to grab Davis around the waist to keep from falling. Davis seemed to get irritated, so he shoved Fonseca down on the canvas.
Referee Russell Mora than counted Fonseca out. The boxing fans at ringside booed Davis loudly immediately after the fight, and during the time that he was being interviewed by Showtime analyst Jim Gray. Davis didn’t seem to regret hitting Fonseca behind the head. That was the troubling part.
The official time of the stoppage was at 0:39 of round 8. While Fonseca was still down on the canvas on his hands and knees, Davis came over and got in the same position near him. It looked to some like Davis was mocking Fonseca. It’s unclear if that was Davis’ intent or if he was praying. It looked to me like Davis was mocking Fonseca. If that was what Davis was doing, it wasn’t a sign of good sportsmanship. He had to have been assuming that Fonseca was faking being hurt, because he had no way of knowing. The punch that Davis threw clearly hit Fonseca in the back of the head. There’s no mistake about that. The ending of the fight was strange. Hitting Fonseca in the back of the head was bad enough, but then to shove him down on the canvas directly after that. It looked like Davis had lost his composure.
Up to round 8, Boxing News 24 had Davis ahead 4 rounds to 3. Davis had clowned in rounds 4, 5 and 6, getting outworked by the more serious Fonseca.
Fighting in front of a large crowd, the 22-year-old Davis spent much of the fight showboating, fighting with his hands behind his back, and toying with the 23-year-old Fonseca. Davis might have thought it made him look good to showboat in front of the large crowd of boxing and MMA fans, but it looked disrespectful of his opponent Fonseca. It looked out of place.
”II actually caught him with a body shot before that punch,” said Davis after the fight. “I hit him and he knew he was hurt, so he took advantage of me swinging and hitting him in the back of the head and fell down. He took advantage of the punch right there. I think it was illegal, but it didn’t have any effect on him. I’m sure it didn’t,” said Davis.
It should be interesting to see if the results of the fight are overturned on review by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. With the knockout blow coming from a punch to the back of the head, it’s possible the results will be overturned and changed from a knockout win for Davis to no contest or disqualification. It’s never good to see fights end on an illegal punch. If the results of the fight stand, it could potentially send a message to other boxers that they can win fights by hitting their opponents to the back of the head.
Davis fought like he was coasting in rounds 1 through 7, as he took it easy, loading up on single pot shots instead of putting his punches together. However, in round 8, Davis came out on fire, throwing hard punches to the head and body of Fonseca. Davis quickly backed Fonseca up to the ropes with some hard body shots. Just when Davis appeared to be on the verge of scoring a legitimate knockout, he nailed Fonseca with a right hand to the back of the head, causing him to slide down and grab Davis by the waist. At that point, Davis shoved Fonseca down on the canvas. The fight was over moments later after the referee counted Fonseca out.
“It was a mistake,” said Davis about him coming in overweight at last Friday’s weigh-in for the Fonseca fight. “I’m young. I’m growing. My apologies to the boxing fans and the media for me missing the weight, but it’ll never happen again. I’m moving on from here. For all the 130s, I’m coming back for my belt, and the 135s. You’ll see me soon,” Davis added.
The southpaw Davis got the better of Fonseca in rounds 1 through 3, using big uppercuts and hooks. Davis was missing a lot of his enormous power shots, being that he was loading up so much in looking for a highlight reel knockout.
In round 4, Davis started fighting with his hands behind his back and down by his waist. He was taunting Fonseca, who took advantage of Davis’ load guard to nail him with some really nice shot. Davis appeared to be imitating the showboating tactics of UFC fighter Conor McGregor, who was fighting in the main event against Floyd Mayweather Jr. The showboating that Davis did kept him from throwing enough punches to win the round.
Davis continued to clown in rounds 5, 6 and 7. He seemed to have little respect for his over-matched opponent Fonseca. It’s too bad Davis didn’t push his promoters at Mayweather Promotions for him to be matched against a better fighter than Fonseca, like Orlando Salido, Jhonny Gonzalez, Javier Fortuna or Jesus Cuellar. Those guys could have given Davis a better fight of it, and kept him on his toes. Davis did a lot of talking to Fonseca during the 6th round. He was taunting the Costa Rican fighter, and showing little in the way of respect for him.
Early in round 7, Fonseca caught Davis with a big right hand that caused him to lose his footing and almost fall. Davis was lucky he didn’t fall, as he came close to hitting the deck.
“I guess the camera didn’t show the right clip of me catching him. I actually caught him with a body blow before that punch,” said Davis.
Fonseca didn’t look hurt before getting hit to the back of the head. He seemed fine. It was only after Fonseca was hit to the back of the head that he started having problems.
“He never hurt me in the exchange,” Fonseca said after the fight. “Even though he came in at 160 pounds, he doesn’t hit as hard as they say.”