As Fight Approaches, Davis and Garcia Are ‘Managing Their Nerves’ Says Andre Ward

As the last few hours tick by until their pay-per-view clash in Las Vegas, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia are likely “managing their nerves,” according to Hall-of-Fame former super-middleweight and light-heavyweight champion Andre Ward. “They're managing their fears. They're reminding themselves of why they're here.”

Speaking on the Showtime Boxing Podcast, Ward explained how, during fight week, both men have had to deal with a number of duties, from grand arrivals to press conference to weigh-in, “but then you're back in your room by yourself. And reality sets in. People don't realize in a big fight, I don't care how long you've been around, you have to manage all of that. And how you manage it a week before, three days before, two days before, will determine how you how you fight Saturday night and whether you win or not.”

But no matter how each man addresses the mental side of the game, Ward sees Davis as the favorite when the punches start to be thrown, not least because he feels Garcia has too many fundamental flaws. 

Ward does agree that Garcia has the hand speed advantage. But he argues that the situation is more nuanced, in that Davis’ single punches may reach their target more rapidly than Garcia’s and may do more damage when they land. While Davis is going to have to contend with Garcia’s flurries, the question is whether Garcia can fight the perfect fight and avoid dropping his guard, physically or mentally, at any point during the contest.

“Garcia is faster than Davis, but Davis is quicker than Garcia,” he said. “In other words, Davis can get to the point of attack quicker than Garcia can, but in a combination of three, four punches Garcia's gonna get those off faster, and that is because Davis is looking to do real serious damage. But Tank’s going to have to contend with that. And that's gonna be the interesting part early. But you know, even when Garcia has his moments, what are we all gonna be looking at? The counter. We're gonna see that chin up in the air as he's punching, and even maybe landing, and everybody's gonna be bracing themselves for the counter. If you’re up against a fighter like Gervonta Davis, you have to be focused for 36 minutes. People don't realize how draining and how hard that is. The crowd, the lights, the pressure, the fatigue, ‘I got to focus in on this, I can't make a mistake.’ Can Ryan Garcia do that?”

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