It’s impossible to overstate the greatness of Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia as they step into the ring in Las Vegas on Saturday.
While boxing is notorious for overpromotion, that’s certainly not the case here. Coming in at a combined 51-0, the immensely popular fighters are finding a resonance with younger fans that the sport so desperately needs. With fights like Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk and Errol Spence-Terence Crawford stuck in the mud and lost (for now) through malicious negotiations, 28-year-old Davis and 24-year-old Garcia are giving people what they want .
On Thursday, the legendary Oscar De La Hoya declared this “fight that will save boxing”.
Who will come out on top? We interviewed six of our boxing experts to take the temperature before Davis and Garcia put on gloves.
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Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia Predictions, Expert Tips
Andreas Hale, Combat Senior Writer
This fight is almost impossible to pick because there are so many variables and even more untested elements (like Gervonta Davis’ chin). There has been a lot of talk about Luke Campbell dropping Garcia in January 2021, but Campbell was equal to Garcia. Davis won’t be that lucky and will need to be smart to get close to Garcia. That being said, Davis’ boxing ability is extremely underrated.
My concern is that Davis tends to get hit from the outside a lot and will almost certainly have to take one to give one against “KingRy”. If Garcia uses his length to deflect Davis’ advances, it will eventually pay off when Davis encounters something he doesn’t see coming. If you’d asked me last week, I’d have said Davis finishes Garcia up late. And that selection could change again by fight night.
Pick: Ryan Garcia by KO/TKO (8th round)
Tom Gray, Deputy Editor of Boxing
I can already feel the heat. I’ve thought long and hard about this fight and can make strong arguments for both types.
Ultimately, I go against the grain in both the outcome and the method of winning. The talk is that this fight can’t go the distance, but I disagree. Tank has never been a pro and I don’t even remember him being stunned. Garcia was down once, courtesy of Luke Campbell, and he shook it off and scored a stoppage. Both men are in their twenties and don’t know how to lose.
Garcia sold up his left hook throughout the build, which could be a ruse. He has huge advantages in terms of height and reach, and he would benefit from holding him for a long time. If he fights to his strengths and takes out Tank, I can imagine Garcia winning a comfortable decision in the biggest fight of his life.
Election: Ryan Garcia by unanimous decision
MORE: Hall of Famer boxer-turned-coach collapses Davis-Garcia
Dom Farrell, boxing writer
There are several ways you can split up this fantastic showdown between two of the sport’s biggest stars. But I’m struggling to shake the image of Garcia adorned by Luke Campbell in January 2021. Yes, Ryan climbed off the canvas to win, but he was dropped and dropped hard against London 2012 gold medalist Campbell, a technical fighter but not a well-known cracker. Davis has an exceptional ringcraft and boxing IQ to draw on, and he also punches like a mule.
Expect Garcia to pick up some early hits and make the most of his range advantage against Tank, who is fittingly a slow starter given his famous moniker. But Garcia doesn’t seem to be able to resist an ordeal either and both men will give us what we want to see as the fight heats up, with Garcia’s tendency to let his chin hang out a little too long being punished just after half.
Pick: Gervonta Davis by KO/TKO (7th round)
Daniel Yanofsky, boxing editor
Ready or not, Davis and Garcia will face off in the biggest fight of their careers. Before Davis, Luke Campbell was Garcia’s biggest problem, and he survived a knockdown to take out the Brit. Can Garcia use his length and quick hands to bring “Tank” down? The Baltimore native starts slow but picks up the pace as the fight progresses.
Davis might be a bit wary when trying to fight inside, but if he spots a weakness, he’ll take advantage and rush into KingRy. Once inside, a combination of uppercuts and quick body shots should end the game for Garcia.
The fight can go either way and my choice might change on fight night, but for now Davis will be the one to leave Las Vegas as the winner.
Pick: Gervonta Davis by KO/TKO (8th round)
Ben Miller, boxing writer
That pick is fraught with doubt thanks to a number of uncertainties on both sides: Garcia’s willingness, how meaningful Davis’ underdog range will be, and whether “Tank’s” unconvincing display against Isaac Cruz can be considered instructive.
The unpredictability is compounded by the overall feeling that neither fighter has faced a fast power puncher yet. The smart bet feels like Garcia winning on points – and comfortable when his opponent is giving away rounds again – but Davis can exploit the slightest mistake in detonative fashion, perhaps halfway through the fight.
Whatever the outcome, I do not foresee an outcome that will significantly damage the loser’s reputation.
Pick: Gervonta Davis by KO/TKO (8th round)
Micah Adams, Editor-in-Chief
Allow me to speak on behalf of the millions of casual boxing fans who will be watching this fight without ever having seen Davis or Garcia box. I’ll leave the technical in-ring mechanics to the cute science experts, but looking from the outside in, here’s what I see:
- I see a combined 51-0 record for two young superstars just entering their prime.
- I see an electric superfight built for social media with casual appeal, replacing everything since probably Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
- I see a clash of cultures: the fighter from downtown Baltimore versus the pretty boy from California.
- I see Davis as a controversial but calculated bull who hasn’t been dropped as a pro.
- I see in Garcia a towering but disarming social media darling with the million-dollar smile and billion-dollar left hook.
- I see two incredibly popular fighters with an opportunity to grow the sport and reach young casual fans from all walks of life.
It all adds up to not only fight of the year, but a golden opportunity that has eluded the sport for over a decade. I’m picking Davis to avoid that punishing signature shot and outlast Garcia in an instant classic in what will hopefully be the first of at least three bouts between two of boxing’s biggest stars.
Election: Gervonta Davis by split decision
Final Predictions and Results
According to BetMGM, Davis enters as the favorite at -250 while Garcia is the underdog at +220.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our writers’ final record was 4-2 in favor of Davis. Here’s a look at how our team sees it.
Who do you think will win?