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Avila Perspective, Chap. 219: Tank and Company

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  • Avila Perspective, Chap. 219: Tank and Company

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    By David A. Avila

    Stuff happens.

    Not just to Gervonta “Tank” Davis but to anyone anywhere. Whether it’s a prizefighter with blazing speed, outstanding power and a knack for shining on the big stage, or to a “regular Joe” on the street, stuff can happen to anyone.

    Just this week the head basketball coach of Texas, Chris Beard, was removed from his job for domestic abuse charges. UFC’s Dana White was recorded being slapped by his wife and countering with his own. Stuff happens. Nobody is perfect.

    Now it’s on to the fight as Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) defends the WBA lightweight title against Hector Luis Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs) on Saturday Jan. 7, at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. Showtime pay-per-view will televise the stacked boxing card.

    “I know that Hector Luis Garcia is going to come to fight and we’re going to give the fans what they want to see,” Davis said.

    For about a week, things looked gloomy for fans waiting to see Tank back in the boxing ring. When news broke that Davis was arrested for suspicion of domestic battery it looked like the entire fight card would be canceled. But after Davis’s wife recanted her story to the police authorities, the boxing card was saved.

    Boxing is not the only sport that endures these scenarios, but it’s a one-on-one sport so a problem with the star of the show can affect an entire bill. Let’s face it, Tank Davis is one of the few mega stars in boxing, regardless of his size.

    The last time we saw Davis he shocked Brooklyn, New York when he suddenly ended a battle with Rollie Romero in the sixth round last May. A counter left staggered Romero and Davis finished the fight with a flourish.

    About a year ago, Davis suffered an injury to his left arm when fighting Isaac Cruz at Staples Center in L.A. Despite hurting his power hand, he continued to fend off multiple attacks by the dangerous Mexican fighter. He won the fight by unanimous decision. It proved emphatically Davis is more than just a power puncher. Up next is Garcia.

    “Garcia did what he had to do to earn this fight. He beat a top contender and then won the belt,” said Davis at the press conference in D.C. “Giving him the shot was the perfect timing for everyone. He’s earned his stripes.”

    Facing Davis will be the much taller Dominican “The Android” Garcia a left-handed boxer puncher who brushed aside highly touted Chris Colbert and then took the super featherweight world title away from Roger Gutierrez. He’s clever and a southpaw with solid power.

    “This fight is not only important to me, but to the whole Dominican Republic,” said Garcia, 31. “I’m going up against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and I know that I have to be ready for that challenge. I’m coming to show the world that superstars can fall too.”

    Tank Davis has become a proven ticket-seller and pay-per-view attraction but has not fought in eight months. These past two years demonstrated that he can pull big numbers. Aside from Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, he’s the only non-heavyweight with the ability to draw big money when he performs on both the east and west coast.

    “This will be ‘Tank’s’ 13th time on Showtime and fifth time on pay-per-view, and by now we know what to expect. Every time ‘Tank’ fights, he is must-see TV. He has sold out arenas in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore and Brooklyn,” said Stephen Espinoza the head of Showtime Sports programming.

    Strong Support

    Supplementing Tank Davis will be a very strong supportive cast led by welterweight gem Jaron “Boots” Ennis (29-0, 27 KOs) who fights Ukraine’s Karen Chukhadzhian (21-1, 11 KOs) in the semi-main event.

    “I don’t go in there looking for the knockout, but if I see that opening, I’m definitely taking it. I’m not afraid to get him out early,” said Ennis. “Everyone knows I’m in and out like a robbery.”

    Chukhadzhian seeks to make the most of this opportunity.

    “I’ve wanted an opportunity like this and I’m very motivated finally being here in the U.S. I’m coming to win for everybody rooting me on in Ukraine,” Chukhadzhian said.

    Also on the same card are former two-division champion Demetrius Andrade, Rashidi Ellis and Brandun Lee.

    “This is a fantastic card from top to bottom. Make sure you get there early, and we’ll see you there,” said Espinoza.

    Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME
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