Ryan Garcia insisted there was no way he could have recovered from the body shot that ended his fight with Gervonta Davis.
The 24-year-old on Saturday lost for the first time in his career, when in the seventh round at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Davis threw with power towards his liver. After a delayed reaction Garcia took a knee, and was then counted out.
That he was already falling behind on the scorecards contributed to suggestions he had simply quit, but Garcia, who previously recovered from a knockdown to retire Luke Campbell, said: “It just took the air out of me. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t recover, and that was that.
“I was close to getting up for sure. I mean, I ain’t got no excuses. I just couldn’t get up.
“I thought I had him pretty hurt, to be honest. He was actually hurt, and then that’s what I get – I ran into a big shot. I was impatient, and I ran into a left. It didn’t really hurt me too bad though. I got hurt more off Luke Campbell. I got impatient. I got caught.
“Davis was good; [but] he does struggle with activity. I know he caught me with a good shot, but somebody that’s just a little more disciplined than me, and has a little bit more activity than me, gives him a lot of problems. But you can’t count him out ‘cause he has great power. You just gotta be careful with Gervonta and play it smart. I didn’t play it smart. I started getting bored in there and I started trying to press and got knocked out. That was my mistake.
The victory over Campbell in January 2021 preceded Garcia moving to super lightweight because of his struggles to make 135lbs. He fought Davis, 28, at a catchweight of 136lbs, and plans to return to 140lbs in his next fight.
“This fight’s not going to deter me too much in my journey,” he said. “I went out there and tried my best, but I feel much stronger at 140lbs. I’m gonna go up and fight the top fighters at 140lbs.
“I didn’t feel too good. I felt a little weak; going into the gym my legs didn’t feel too much under me, but once the fight got going it kinda all came together, so I can’t really pin that too much. It is what it is. I signed a contract and that’s that.