By Dan Ambrose: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis battles Hector Luis Garcia next Saturday night on January 7th, live on Showtime PPV at 9:00 p.m. ET at the Capitol One Arena in Washington, D.C. The cost of the pay-per-view is $74.99, and it can be ordered via Showtime or PPV.com.
This fight will get the superstar Tank Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) ready for his April match-up against Ryan Garcia, as long as he comes out victorious against the 2016 Olympian Hector, who is hoping to ruin things for the Baltimore native.
If the unbeaten WBA super featherweight champion Hector Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs) gets his way, it’ll be him that Tank faces in his second fight in 2023 rather than Ryan.
There will still be a ton of interest from boxing fans in seeing Tank fight Hector for a second time this year rather than Ryan, but obviously, the curiosity would be more targeted at people wanting to see if he’ll suffer a second defeat at the hands of the Baltimore native.
The undercard has several good names, but unfortunately, the fights are total mismatches on paper. That’s the main criticism this writer has of the undercard. There are three quality fighters on the undercard, but these are all showcase fights.
Jaron Ennis vs. Karen Chukhadzhian
Demetrius Andrade vs. Demond Nicholson
Rashidi Ellis vs. Roiman Villa
Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Omar Rosales
Kyrone Davis vs. Cristian Fabian Rios
Lamont Peterson vs.Michael Ogundo
Brandun Lee vs. Patrick Okine
Keeshawn Williams vs. Gustavo David Vittori
Anthony Peterson vs. Raul Chirino
Travon Marshall vs. Shawn West
Mia Ellis vs. Karen Dulin
Jalil Major Hackett vs. Joel Guavara
Tank not overlooking Hector Garcia
If Hector is able to pull off an upset, as he did against Chris Colbert, it would be huge for his career, and bad for the boxing fans that were hoping to see Gervonta vs. Ryan Garcia in April.
“Well, what I’m expecting is to be here on top,” said Hector Luis Garcia to Showtime All Access. “I’m proud to be the first Dominican to be in a special event like this one fighting on pay-per-view against one of the best boxers in the world.
“We all want to face the best to elevate ourselves.”
“A lot of people overlook him, but I ain’t trying to overlook him,” said Tank Davis about Hector Garcia. “He looks like he’s ready, and this could be a life-changer for him. He wants to take my spot, so I’m definitely not looking past him. I’m in a real fight.
“January 7th is going to be a crazy night.”
“When he gets in the ring, he’s on a mission because he understands that he’s got to put his pants on. The training wheels are gone,” said coach Calvin Ford about Gervonta Davis.
“You got what you asked for. Let’s get it now. He ain’t playing with nobody. You step in the ring with him, be prepared.”
“My boxing style is a difficult style, uncomfortable to decipher,” said Hector Garcia. “At first, I used to be a classical boxer. My boxing was very Olympic, and then I paused and when I returned, I came back with a raw style.
“I wanted to knock people out. So that’s where I got the ‘Android’ nickname, and the ‘Android’ is like a robot, moving forward, tireless, tireless. That’s what gave me victories each time.
“Since I was so focused, I said, ‘This is mine. This is mine. I’m going to win it.’ I’ve been waiting many years in boxing, waiting for the opportunity. It hasn’t been easy, but nothing is impossible.
“Everything is possible because it’s about taking advantage of each opportunity, and that’s what fills me with pride that, thanks to God, I’ve been able to take advantage of them, and I’m where I’m at, demonstrating that we have the talent to do big things in this sport,” said Hector Garcia.
“Hector is my key. I call him the key to success,” said Tank’s coach Calvin Ford. “Look what he did. He beat a top prospect [Chris Colbert], and then he went and won a belt, he won a strap [against WBA super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez.
“So he’s feeling all that fame & glory. He ain’t trying to give that up. So I take that serious. In a fight, you never know what’s going to happen, so you have to be concerned with everything.
“He’s undefeated; he has nothing to lose, but what we got to do is disrupt his a** so bad where he wants to take that fight, where he wants to put it all on the line. That’s where he’s going to get hurt at.
“I’m trying to punish him. I want the world to see what Tank is going to bring. He’s going to come with everything. He’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain. So he’s coming. The only key is how much pain he’s willing to take,” said Ford about the 31-year-old Hector.
“I’m feeling right. I tell Tank, ‘I can see why you waking up with a smile. He can’t help but to wake up with a smile with the sun showing up every day.’
“Years of training with Tank, we’ve been doing it so long that we should know what we’re doing. We trust each other in the ring and outside the ring. It’s bigger than boxing.
“The way I describe it with him [Tank Davis], he’s trying to inflict that pain. Even when we’re out, he’s saying, ‘I feel it.’ I say, ‘You’re supposed to feel it,'” said Ford.
“If someone understands you and understands where you come from, they can bring the best out of you,” said Gervonta. “That’s what Calvin has been doing for me.”
“You see a kid that’s becoming a man, he’s coming into his awareness of being who he’s going to become, and I had something to do with it,” said Ford. “Watch when he gets in the ring, he’s not the same.”
“I’m not a kid anymore. I take my priorities serious,” said Tank Davis. “These things matter.”
“It’s not little Tank anymore,” said Ford. “I’m watching a grown man. The journey I’ve been with him, I know there’s more to come. We’re reaching that pinnacle because he’s hungry.”
“This isn’t easy, but you do it for all the benefits,” said Hector Garcia about his Yoga exercises. “It helps psychologically. All you really want is to feel good during the fight.”
Gervonta facing an experienced pro
“He’s more than just a trainer. He’s like family,” said Hector about his trainer Bob Santos. “That’s important for me. He gives me advice. He encourages me, and he’s always paying attention to everything, the work, the diet, everything.”
“You don’t beat a fighter like Chris Colbert on 19 days’ notice. Not too many can say that,” said Santos about Hector Garcia. “We’re going against the best to prove who the best is. That’s what we want. We want to go against the best.
“It’s going to be a brutal fight, but as far as boxing goes, if he [Gervonta] wants to box, that’s fine. I’m riding a horse that has had over 400 amateur fights.
“He is the most experienced fighter that Tank has fought in his life; I guarantee you that. Apples to apples, everybody knows who the fighter of the year was.
“No Dominican has headlined a pay-per-view at this level. So he’s making history not only for himself but his country,” said Santos.