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Tank Davis TKOs Garcia; Boots Ennis Whitewashes Chukhadzhian

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  • Tank Davis TKOs Garcia; Boots Ennis Whitewashes Chukhadzhian

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    Press Release

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 8, 2023 – Boxing superstar and five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis sent a supportive sold-out crowd in the nation’s capital home happy with another memorable victory as he displayed his skills and then stopped super featherweight champion Hector Luis Garcia in the ninth round Saturday night headlining live on SHOWTIME PPV from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

    The Baltimore-native Davis delighted the 19,731 fans in attendance at the sold-out event as he methodically broke down the previously unbeaten Garcia, before hurting him badly with his vaunted left hand late in the eighth round. Visibly shaken on his way back to the corner, Garcia stayed on his stool as the bell for round nine rang. Moments later, his trainer Bob Santos advised referee Albert Earl Brown to stop the fight, with the official stoppage coming 13 seconds into round nine.

    “I was a little surprised he didn’t come out,” said Davis. “But I knew he was hurt bad but he’s a fighter and he didn’t want to show it. I knew he was hurt though.”

    “When I got the shot to my head in the final round, that’s when I couldn’t see from my eye,” said Garcia, who owns the WBA Super Featherweight World Title. “I didn’t know where I was when he hit me with that shot. My vision is back but my head still hurts. I couldn’t see from my right eye. It was going well up until that point. I was picking my shots.”

    The two champions jockeyed for position over the first three rounds before Davis got the fans back on their feet with a series of hard power shots late in round four. Garcia displayed a solid straight left hand that he employed to counter the speed of Davis’ jabs, and was the busier fighter according to CompuBox, throwing 345 punches to Davis’ 239.

    However, it was Davis’ effective and efficient attack, which built as the fight went on, that helped him take control of the fight. After landing only four power punches in the first three rounds, Davis connected on 69 in rounds four through eight.

    “I wasn’t throwing a lot of shots in the beginning because I was trying to beat him mentally,” said Davis. “I was trying to trick him with my hands and my eyes and things like that because he’s a tough fighter. I had to bait him.”

    The victory was Davis’ fifth successful defense of his WBA Lightweight Title, and one that the judges saw him in control of throughout, as he led 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. After the fight, Davis sent a message to his fellow unbeaten rival Ryan Garcia, as the two near a previously announced blockbuster clash this spring.

    “God willing I’m ready for the fight with Ryan Garcia,” said Davis. “It’s scheduled for April. I’m here. He’s been training. He’s been talking. And let’s see who’s really about that.”

    In the co-main event, rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs)cruised to a unanimous decision over Karen Chukhadzhian (21-2, 11 KOs)to earn the vacant Interim IBF Welterweight Title after going 12 rounds for the first time by the score of 120-108 three times.

    “I learned to just take my time and to not rush anything,” said Ennis. “I’m glad I went 12 rounds. It felt great. I felt I was in the best shape. I just needed to throw a little more punches. I should have got him out of there.”

    Philadelphia’s Ennis moved himself one step closer to a world title opportunity against the cagey and evasive Chukhadzhian. The Ukrainian showed deft footwork throughout the fight, never staying in the pocket long enough for Ennis to put combinations together while landing the occasional counter.

    Overall Chukhadzhian was out landed by a 203 to 97 margin, as Ennis also held advantages in accuracy (34% to 17%) and body shots (88 to 11). This was Ennis’ first fight that went the distance since 2017.

    “He ran a lot,” said Ennis. “Hats off to him since a lot of guys didn’t want to fight me. So shout out to him for coming here and taking this fight.”

    “He had a different level of speed than I’m used to,” said Chukhadzhian. “I don’t make any excuses though. I wish I could have done more to hurt him.”

    Ennis remained patient through the championship rounds, as he tried in vain to break down his backpedaling opponent before settling for the decision. With the interim title in tow, Ennis set his sights on unified IBF, WBA and WBC Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr.

    “Everyone knows I want Spence,” said Ennis. “I’ll keep waiting until the time is right and Spence is ready to take the fight.”