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Delay Was Worth The Wait

Image Credit: Amanda Westcott/Showtime

NEW YORK– Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia had their two day media tour in New York and Los Angeles for their anticipated showdown that has been in the works the past year. Two of the young and undefeated superstars will fight for supremacy, Saturday April 22nd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Televised on Showtime Pay-Per-View, both will fight at catch weight of 136, an agreement for the lightweights in a 12-round contest with no titles on the line. Instead, the fight is being billed as generational and compared to those epic fights in the 1980’s that included Hall of Famers Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Durán.

That elite group provided boxing with mega fights at a newly constructed outdoor venue outdoors on the grounds at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Then there was closed circuit television and the beginning of pay-per-view, though hardly at the magnitude as is today.

Now, though, the waiting game towards an eventual clash between Gervonta Davis and Mexican-American Ryan Garcia that went back-and-forth the past year has come to fruition. They will get in the ring and settle who is the best, pending of course if there are no further complications.

Image Credit: Showtime Boxing

This is boxing and anything can occur between now and then. We have become accustomed to a mega fight being postponed because of an injury or another mishap, but this is all systems go. The only stumbling block would be another hurdle for Davis, who tends to be in more than one fight with lawsuits.

Months later, after all the back-and-forth of contract stipulations we have a mega fight.

Wednesday at the Palladium in the heart of Time Square in New York City, we had another waiting game. This time, Davis, almost two hours late for the first of two city back-to-back press conferences to officially kick off Davis versus Garcia.

And for whatever reason that detained Davis, he apologized to the promoters (GTD, TGB, and Golden Boy), it was worth the wait. Differences aside about punctuality, something the 24-year Garcia has never had an issue with, there was that anticipated faceoff.

Image Credit: Showtime Boxing

A faceoff that led to words but no punches thrown, then again this fight needs no hype as they faced off again Thursday in Los Angeles. I have alluded to this many times that boxing needs a fight like this one. Two different promotions working alongside each other that made this happen with different televised deals.

In the end, Showtime PPV got the rights, Davis versus Garcia could generate a million buys and that would be another story in itself. But a fight of this magnitude leads to boxing needing more of this with opposing promoters and networks coming together for the fans that deserve more.

Davis and Garcia can go jaw-to-jaw as to who the better fighter is, though both agree this fight is good for the sport.

This version of a generational fight, delivered in a different era with social media, could lead to another and possibly a trilogy with no titles at stake. Davis and Garcia will take their ride in boxing history and could move up in weight where they can test more of the elite fighters at junior welterweight.

Back to Wednesday. We had to wait for the eventual arrival of Davis, his habit of sorts that is sometimes displayed with a slow start in beginning rounds before throwing a devastating right. Those in the media were allowed access via a credential filing process which exemplifies the demand of this fight.

And CompuBox the official ringside punch and jab analysis gurus got into the hype posting stats, unprecedented prior to any fight.

How about this:

A battle of power punches, as 20.9 of their combined landed punches (84.3%) are power shots.
Less is more for Davis, who threw 34.2 punches per round, fewest among champ caliber opponents and landed 47.6% of his power punches -#1 among champ caliber opponents.
31.3% of Davis’ landed punches are body shots
Garcia like Davis is selective, landing 12.8 of 41.3 punches per round
Garcia landed 43.5% of his power punches (11.1 of 25.5 per round )
Garcia landed just 1.7 of 15.8 jabs per round
Davis’ low punch output will be nothing new for Garcia, who’s opponents have just 30.9 punches per round.

Two fighters with talent and with a tremendous fan base, though, Ryan, with 1.5 million Instagram and other social media handles is known as “King Ryan” and Davis claims to have over 4.1 Instagram followers.

Image Credit: Showtime Boxing

Though social media played a significant role in putting this fight on the calendar, it was pushed back from the April 15 date that was scheduled. Davis and Garcia downplayed the social media influence, they said it all matters in the ring.

What mattered, Garcia asked for this fight. Davis had a successful tuneup in January and Garcia stayed in the gym instead of risking an injury that would jeopardize what got them here.

This fight, though, should live up to expectations. Both fighters are in that category of young superstars, undefeated, evenly matched, though Davis to many has had the better jab. Garcia, with power and knockout punch, a right and the height advantage.

In six weeks we will know more, who is the better fighter? Garcia “The King” or Davis known as “Tank?” Regardless, as both fighters said, this is what fans and boxing needs.

Rich Mancuso Co-Edior and Senior Writer Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube

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