Algieri's School of Thought: Everything points to Davis knocking out Garcia

Gervonta “Tank” Davis is an excellent fighter. He’s very fun to watch, he believes in his power, and he fights for the knockout – a combination that makes for an explosive fighter and exciting fights.

On the grounds that a lot of the opponents he has beaten have been a lot smaller than him, some of his critics have been reluctant to give him credit, but I respect that he’s been moving up in weight, staying active, and knocking opponents out. 

Ryan Garcia is a lot more difficult to judge, because we haven’t seem as much of him – particularly recently. He hasn’t been in with real, world-class competition, especially at 10st, the weight class he’s competing at now. 

His best win – and a very good one – came against Luke Campbell in January 2021, but even if Campbell was by far his best opponent, he was an ageing, albeit leading, contender, and retired afterwards. Garcia is also very talented, but as we’ve often seen, talent isn’t enough – a fighter also has to be able to perform at the highest level, and we haven’t seen him do that yet. 

I can see him beating Tank, regardless. He’s not only as talented as he is – he has incredibly fast hands, and one-punch power. If he catches Tank – whose defence is by no means bad, but isn’t great – he might only need one punch. If he can hurt Tank early and earn his respect, he’s got a real chance of winning.

Most favour Tank He’s been in tougher fights; he’s shown his resilience; and he has great power and a better knockout percentage, and on those grounds he should be the favourite. But I’ve been wrestling with who I think’s going to win this fight for the past two months.

I’m always wary of when a fighter changes trainers and, off the back of one camp, is expected to be a completely different fighter. It just doesn’t work like that. Garcia’s had two fights and over a year working with Joe Goossen, and they seem to be making progress, even if we’ll only be able to judge that when he steps into the ring.

Algieri's School of Thought: Everything points to Davis knocking out Garcia

A bigger concern for Garcia has been his inactivity. Training camps are great – they’re very, very important, and a lot gets done. But you’ve got to be able to execute, to pull the trigger, and to walk out under those bright lights. All of that matters, and we haven’t seen that in those two fights and camps under Goossen so far.

It’s a huge advantage that Tank kept busy by fighting, and beating, Hector Luis Garcia in January. Keeping fresh and having regular training camps and being able to work on one thing and bring it into the next fight is so valuable. Hector Luis Garcia is also a very good fighter, and got stopped in nine rounds. Ryan Garcia could have had a tune-up fight and chose not to, and that’s a concern.

Another is the catchweight of 136lbs, and the rehydration clause that means they can’t weigh more than 146lbs on the morning of the fight. I really dislike rehydration clauses – I don’t think they’re safe or that they should be used. After the weigh-in fighters are also rehydrating their brains, ahead of competing in a sport in which brain damage is a risk. 

By fighting at 136lbs Garcia’s only gaining one pound above Tank’s natural weight division, which suggests he was previously really struggling to make 135lbs. But is that one pound really going to help? The indications are that he’ll still struggle to make 136lbs – and with that, the rehydration clause, and his inactivity, when I might have been tempted to consider Garcia the favourite, it makes it difficult to continue to do so.

One of the themes of this fight week has involved the winner becoming “the new face of the sport”, which is something I both agree and disagree with. For recognition, fanfare and income, the winner is going to skyrocket towards the top of the sport, but once they’re there they’ll have more work to do, because Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is still the face of the sport.

That winner, I believe, will be Tank. I think he’ll stop Garcia. The catchweight, Garcia’s inactivity, and Tank’s style – built on his impressive boxing IQ – means he’ll catch up to him because Garcia, after possibly a slow start from Tank, just won’t be able to keep him off.