Boxing Results: Gervonta Davis TKOs Yuriorkis Gamboa in 12th round

By Boxing News - 12/29/2019 - Comments

By Mark Eisner: A surprisingly weak and tired looking Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) was forced to struggle to defeat former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) in stopping him in the 12th round to win the vacant WBA ‘regular lightweight title on Saturday at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The fight was officially stopped at 1:17 of round 12.

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Gamboa probably would have been able to go the full 12 round distance if he had fought conservatively in the final round. The Cuban fighter had too much pride, and decided he wanted to try and score a knockout over the tired Tank Davis. When Gamboa went all out, it created an opportunity for Davis to land a big shot to stop him.

Gamboa dropped 3 times by Davis before fight stopped

Davis, 25, knocked Gamboa down three times in the contest in dropping him in round 2, 8 and 12. Surprisingly, referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight after Davis knocked Gamboa, 38, down in the 12th. Reiss is a referee that generally lets fights continue when a fighter had been dropped, but not tonight. Reiss was quick on the trigger in stopping it.

Gamboa had a shoe problem after being knocked down in the 2nd round. The shoe was damaged when Gamboa hit the deck. Surprisingly, Gamboa didn’t have a backup pair of shoes just in case. As such, he was forced to fight with a bad shoe the rest of the way.

Tank Davis started to fade in the second half of the contest, and gave away the 7th and 10th rounds by fighting at half pace. He was clearly unable to fight hard for the full three minutes of the rounds. Nevertheless, Davis was still able to drop Gamboa in rounds 8 and 12 by suddenly turning up the heat on him. He still wasn’t fighting all out for the entire rounds, but a sudden burst of energy from Davis caught Gamboa off guard.

Tank Davis looked vulnerable now

After this less than spectacular performance by Davis, you can imagine that the other top lightweight are now interested in fighting him. Whether Davis’ less than impressive effort tonight was a product of him missing weight last Friday night is unclear.

This was Davis’ first fight at 135-lb, and his power does not appear to have carried up with him. You can argue that Davis was never as powerful as his record would indicate. He never fought any of the talented fighters at super featherweight, and that’s the whole problem. The way that Davis fought tonight, he would lose to the following lightweight:

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko
  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Devin Haney
  • Luke Campbell

“I’m thankful for sharing the ring with Gamboa. He brought out the best in me tonight,” said Davis at the post-fight news conference. “I’m happy with my performance. I’m only 25-years-old, so I’m learning, and things like that. 2020 will be a big year for me.

Davis: I was hurting Gamboa all through the fight

“This is my first time fighting in Atlanta, and hopefully it won’t be my last,” said Davis. “I was hurting him throughout the fight, but he showed that he’s a tough opponent. There were shots that I was hurting him with that I knew he was hurt, and he was wobbeling, but somehow he was still moving his head.

“That’s how I knew I wasn’t in there with a regular guy. I was in there with someone with top experience,” said Davis on Gamboa being tough. “Throughout the fight I was hurting him. It may have looked like I was tired, but I wasn’t tired. His game plan was to try and take me into deep waters. That’s what I heard what his plan is. I wasn’t tired, but it was shots I was catching him with, and he wasn’t going nowhere.

“So as a fighter if you can’t knock a guy out, you start working your way and picking your shots,” said Davis. “That’s what I was doing. It was never a point in the fight where I was super tired. I was regrouping. I wasn’t pressing for the knockout. Once I seen he was hurt, and I wasn’t getting him out of there, I knew I had to just touch him up, and win the rounds.

Gervonta says he’s “top dog” at 130 and 135

“Me touching him with shots, and me not getting him out of there, us fighters we know that we need to start slowing down, and picking our shots and he will break down,” said Gervonta. “I believe I’m the top dog at 130 and 135. I have the best team in the sport of boxing.

“They do their job outside of the ring. I’m a fighter, and there’s no safety on this Glock,” Davis said. “I’m ready for them all. My coach put on a great performance Just touch him up, and don’t look for the knockout. That was it me showing I’m an elite fighter, and not trying to rush it and get hm out of there, and wind up getting caught. That was my main focus going in.

“Not trying to rush it, touch him up, and show the people I got skills,” Gervonta said. “In the 4th round, I was touching him with shots that were hurting him, but he wasn’t going down. I thought that I’d use my job, loosen him up, and get him tired. Going into the fight, you don’t want to get caught up in the media. The media was writing him off.

Tank Davis wasn’t in a rush against Gamboa

“In my mind, I knew he was a good fighter,” said Davis. “So I wasn’t trying to rush it, and then get caught with a clean shot, because I knew he got power, he was fast, and he got timing. My thing was to go out there, touch him up, not get hit, and break him down. Looking back at the fight, I believe if I had touched him up to the body more, I would have gotten him out of there early.

“Lesson learned. I put on a great performance for the fans,” said Davis. “There were times when I would stop jabbing so that he could look for something else. I’m mixig it up. I might stop jabbing for 2 rounds, and then throw something else. Then you notice in the 7th or 8th rounds, I hurt him with a jab. All those rounds I was hurting him with power jabs.

“It was me giving him different looks. He’s a good counter, so I wasn’t trying to get countered,” said Davis. “I’m all for it,” said Davis about a fight between him and Leo Santa Cruz. “Any good fighters that want to fight me, I’m ready. Let’s get it.

Davis: I’m the cash cow at 130 and 135

“You say moving close to that fight, it’s like you saying he’s above me,” said Davis when asked whether winning the WBA title brings him closer to a fight with Vasiliy Lomachenko. “I don’t feel nobody is above me. I’m the cash cow at 130 and 135. I’m selling out arenas. I don’t think he’s doing that. Line them up, I’m ready.

“Of course,” Davis said when asked if Lomachenko would fight him. “It’s a big risk but it’s also a big payday. A lot of people want to get paid. He’s at the end of his career. He’s not at the end of his career, but he’s up in age. So he’s trying to make the biggest fights possible. Everybody has their different path. I’m 25-years-old. My stretch is a little bit longer than his,” said Davis.

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