Can Hector Luis Garcia wreck Tank Davis’ fight with Ryan Garcia?

By Boxing News - 01/06/2023 - Comments

By Craig Daly: Hector Luis Garcia is in the role of the spoiler on Saturday, potentially messing up the big plans Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis has of facing Ryan Garcia in April on Showtime PPV in a mega-fight.

Hector’s best shot at getting the victory on Saturday is to outwork Gervonta and beat him with volume punching the way that Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz did in their fight in December 2021.

Tank doesn’t throw a lot of punches because of his stocky frame and the way that he loads up on everything he throws.

Unfortunately, for Hector (16-0, 10 KOs) to win on Saturday night, he’s going to either need to dominate Tank Davis (27-0, 25 KOs), making the rounds conclusive, or he’ll need a knockout because there’s the possibility of him losing by a controversial decision if the fight is anywhere close.

Tank is the superstar fighter and the A-side guy in this contest. Moreover, there’s a big fight over the horizon between Tank and Ryan Garcia, meaning that Hector will probably need to do something spectacular for him to get a decision win.

A knockout would be the best way for Hector Garcia to put a roadblock in front of Gervonta’s fight with Ryan in April, but that’s unlikely to happen.

The southpaw Hector isn’t a huge puncher, and he’s coming up from super featherweight facing a guy with a sturdy chin in Tank Davis.

Hector not being given a chance

“I’m a little surprised at how skeptical people are of the chances of Hector Garcia in this fight. He took that Chris Colbert fight in what, three weeks’ notice?” said Chris Mannix to DAZN’s JABS.

“The fight with Gervonta Davis and Hector Luis Garcia is on after Davis was arrested on a domestic violence charge last week. The accuser has recanted, and the Showtime pay-per-view between Garcia and Davis will proceed as scheduled.

“While Davis is a big favorite, Garcia comes into this fight fresh off back-to-back wins over Chris Colbert and Roger Gutierrez last year. So, how dangerous is Hector Luis Garcia in this fight?

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“He beat Chris Colbert, who was a rising contender at that point, and then goes into a showdown with Roger Gutierrez and takes his [WBA super featherweight] title off of him. Gutierrez is a very solid fighter.

“Yes, Hector Luis Garcia is coming up in weight, but if you look at these two guys, Hector is taller and looks to be as physically big if not bigger than Tank Davis. He’s also backed by a guy that I think deserves to be called the trainer of the year Bob Santos, who has done a phenomenal job with a lot of Dominican fighters, including Hector Garcia.

“I think Hector Garcia has to watch out for that one big shot. Tank Davis is not a volume puncher. He landed 25 punches in his last win over Rolly Romero, but those punches are big punches and the only ones that mattered that put Rolly Romero out.

“I think Hector Garcia has a chance of being up on the scorecards in the second half of the fight. The key is going to be is avoiding that big countershot. Not becoming something like Mario Barrios or Leo Santa Cruz, or Rolly Romero and getting caught with a big one.

“If he’s careful and has the right game plan, I do think he has a shot to pull off an upset,” said Mannix.

Garcia must hurt Tank early

“He would have to hurt Tank early and drop him and have Tank backing up,” said Sergio Mora on what Hector Garcia would have to do for him to have a chance of beating Gervonta Davis.

“We have seen Tank backing up. He fought Romero in a smart way early in those rounds because he knew that Romero does have a big punch if he can pot-shot Garcia and run him into a left hand because that’s what he did to Romero.

“That’s what you do to these heavy-handed, aggressive come-forward type fighters.  You let them run into big shots. Tank, not only can he power box on the back foot, but he can go looking and take your head off on the front foot.

“I think it’s going to be all in the strategy. How fast does he want to take this man out? It’s a matter of time. Garcia keeps his head too high in the air; he’s not that fast. He’s powerful, but all that comes second to the fact that defensively and with his technique, he’s flawed,” said Mora about Hector Garcia.

Fighters dismissive of Hector’s chances

“One thing that surprised me is how dismissive other fighters are of Hector Garcia’s chances,” said Mannix. “I talked to Ryan Garcia about this, who has a vested interest in the outcome of this fight, and he said he didn’t think too much about Hector Garcia.

“Devin Haney has said the same things. He had him in camp, and he said he sent him home after a day or two. What does that tell you when guys that are familiar with a fighter are dismissive of his chances?” said Mannix.

“Yeah, when I took a look at his videotape, the first thing I noticed was he fights really upright with his chin, and when he throws punches, he falls off balance, and his chin is still in the air,” said Mora about Hector Garcia.

“You’re going to get caught with something over the top. Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia are both going to catch him slipping with that. That’s what we see with professional fighters. The first thing they do is tuck that chin and bend those knees if you’re the taller fighter, with elbows tucked in, and fight behind the technique.

“Garcia doesn’t have it, and that’s why we’re seeing fighters point this out,” said Mora.

“One thing we’re sure about is if you keep your chin in the air against Tank Davis, he’s going to find it at some point in the fight, and when he does, it usually means you get knocked out,” said Mannix.

“With a detonator with an overhand left,” added Mora.