“Ryan Garcia may eliminate Tank Davis with his firepower” – Paulie Malignaggi

By Boxing News - 03/15/2023 - Comments

By Sam Volz: Paulie Malignaggi believes Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis may get vaporized by Ryan Garcia’s firepower if he doesn’t get him out early on April 22nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Malignaggi says Gervonta’s habit of starting slow is a “defect” in his game and will put him at risk of being “eliminated’ early by Ryan.

The punching power of Ryan (23-0, 19 KOs) is too formidable for Tank to start slowly because he might not need to hit him many times.

Malignggi feels that Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) has slow feet, and he’s too calm early in his fights, leading to him falling behind. Perhaps a big reason for Tank’s patience is he’s not been matched against talented opposition where he had reason to worry.

When Tank fought Mario Barrios in 2021, that was one of the few times where you saw the deep concern on his part because he was losing the fight through the first half of the battle.

Things were so bad that Tank’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr climbed up on the ring apron to give him instructions.

While he notes that Tank has fast hands, his slow feet limit his ability unless his opponents are stationary. In that respect, Gervonta is similar to Canelo Alvarez,  who has slow feet but fast hands.

If Canelo’s opponents use movement, he’s helpless to do anything until they stand still. Ryan isn’t much of a mover, so Tank won’t have to go looking for him.

That doesn’t mean that the 28-year-old Gervonta will have smooth sailing because he will get hit when he goes on the attack, and he could get nailed by one of Ryan’s left hooks.

What’s going to be interesting is to see if Tank can handle Ryan’s best shots to the head and body. Even if Tank does, it can’t be good for his long-term health.

Getting hit with those shots will age a fighter, and Tank’s career could be shortened if he doesn’t get Ryan out of there early.

That could be one of the reasons Mayweather didn’t want to let Tank fight Ryan all these years because he had to know what could happen to him if he got hit a lot.

Tank can’t start slowly against Ryan

“This is one I do have trouble making up my mind. At first, I was, ‘Oh, this is a Tank fight,’ but do you know what?” said Paulie Malignaggi to Paulie TV about the Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis fight.

“The more I watch Ryan Garcia, and his ability on the outside and the power he generates on the outside, and the fact that Tank starts so slow and he’s had some trouble with taller guys, and he’s had trouble with taller guys.

“I don’t think he can afford to start slowly against Ryan Garcia, who has the same height as guys that have troubled Tank but also has a lot more firepower.

“It’s starting to get much more interesting to me. At the beginning, I was, ‘No, I think Tank takes Ryan to a place that he’s never been to before,” said Malignaggi.

It’s not in Tank Davis’ nature for him to start fast in a fight, so even if we told to come flying out of the gates, he won’t do it against Ryan.

Tank is one of those Lomachenko types of fighters that download information early and then go for the kill in the second half of his fights.

That approach is eventually going to cost Tank dearly, possibly on April 22nd against Ryan. It’s possible that Tank will be punch-drunk by the second half of the fight from eating left hooks from Ryan, and he’ll be too mentally inebriated by the later rounds to mount a comeback.

Ryan could eliminate Tank

“If Tank doesn’t start fast, he’s not going to be able to take Ryan anywhere because Ryan has the type of firepower where he may eliminate Tank,” said Malignaggi.

“Tank has that kind of firepower too, but I’m starting to see more and more that Tank is a slow starter. This isn’t the kind of fight where you can afford that; I don’t think. I’m having a hard time placing my definitive answer on this fight.

“These are the type of fights that you also want to see. I think Gervonta is slow on his feet. I think that’s one of the flaws in Gervonta. I don’t necessarily think his footwork is bad, but it is slow.

“He has fast hands, but he closes the gap slowly. I don’t think he has an explosive first step as far as closing the gap goes. That gives him a little bit of a defect in his style and his ability to close the gap.

“He’s eventually gotten there with the taller guys, but he takes his time doing it. Again, I don’t know that you can afford not to put that press on Ryan early on in the fight.

“I think Gervonta has to do that to take Ryan to a bad place. In doing that, you have to go through Ryan’s power because now you’re dealing with not just height like you were in other fights, but you’re also dealing with the power.

“I think of the Rolly fight. Yeah, Gervonta got him out of there, but Rolly was doing very, very well in that fight. Even in Gervonta’s last fight, his opponent [Hector Garcia] was taller, but he wasn’t bad, though.

“He wasn’t having himself a bad night. He wasn’t having as good a night as Rolly was having. I thought Rolly might have been up every round when he fought Tank.

“Tank eventually gets you out of there in the storm. He looks like he never worries. It’s almost as if he knows he’s going to get you out of there. It’s just my feeling about a fighter like Ryan Garcia because he’s got such good firepower, you should be worried, and you should start out a little faster.

“If you let him get comfortable, he may not need to hit you many times to get you out of there. He has that kind of firepower,” said Malignaggi.