'Confrontational' Garcia responding to Davis' ploys

Ryan Garcia’s approach to Gervonta Davis has evolved to adapt to his rival’s mind games, according to Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza. 

The long-term tension between them was heightened further when, to Garcia’s frustration, Davis was almost two hours late to the first press conference staged to promote Saturday’s fight.

For the second press conference, in Los Angeles, where Garcia is based while he trains with the respected Joe Goossen, Espinoza witnessed a more confrontational attitude towards a recognised trash talker and, he believes, largely because in New York Davis may have felt he had gained the upper hand.

“One of the more interesting aspects of the press interactions was the dichotomy between Ryan’s approach in the first press conference in New York and the second press conference in LA,” Showtime’s sports executive told ProBox TV.

“I perceived a more active, more engaged, Ryan Garcia at the second press conference than the first. In terms of his confronting Tank. Perhaps he felt that he was a little too laidback in New York, and that by the time LA rolled around he was going to be a little more assertive. Or perhaps Ryan was a little bit emboldened because he’s more on his home turf, in Los Angeles.

“There was a lot more – a face-to-face confrontation in Los Angeles. Some trash talking. A little bit of shadow boxing, that could have evolved into something more problematic, but thankfully it didn’t. It was a different tone, in Los Angeles, at their second meeting.

Many of the observers who consider Garcia the favourite for Saturday’s fight at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena do so on the grounds of Garcia’s greater height and reach. 

Espinoza was surprised that the size difference between them wasn’t considerably more pronounced, suggesting that Davis’ task in negating a perceived size disadvantage may yet not prove significant.

“Seeing them face off – literally face off – for the first time in this kind of setting,” he said, “some thought there was more of a height difference, and that was an interesting element as well. 

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