Odds, Pick & Prediction for Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia: [Editorial Language] (Saturday, April 22)
Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia Odds
We’re finally here!
There hasn’t been, and may not be, a bigger boxing match in 2023.
I would argue that there hasn’t been a boxing match with this much hype in the U.S. since at least the second rematch of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in February 2020. Some might go back to Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin’s rematch in 2018. And for others, maybe even since Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis (28-0, 26 KOs), a polarizing four-division world champion possessing devasting power in each fist, one of the pound-for-pound best boxers in the sport, and stamped by Floyd Mayweather early in his career as one to watch as he eventually got to this point.
Ryan “King Ry” Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs), a former interim world champion with a star appeal that transcends titles, a social media presence that – combined with his world-class speed – creates a curiosity in regards to his actual potential, but may become the most transcendent Gen Z combat sports figure upon winning this fight.
These two have everything y’all seek in stars in 2023: skilled, flashy, divisive, controversial – and conclusively, the winner would become undeniable.
Davis is the WBA lightweight champion, but the title doesn’t mean anything in this fight. It’s a 136-pound catchweight bout – one pound above the lightweight limit – so no title will be on the line.
Non-needed: Legacy is, and ultimately, that’s what matters this weekend, that and us finally getting something that masquerades as a 50-50 fight mega-fight.
Now, for why you’re here.
Davis vs. Garcia Fight Analysis
Davis is around 5-foot-5 with a 67.5-inch reach, and he’ll be giving up size to Garcia, who is 5-foot-10 with a 70-inch reach and has fought each of his last two fights meeting the 140-pound super lightweight limit. Davis won a super lightweight title against Mario Barrios in June 2021 but has otherwise never fought heavier than lightweight.
Davis has the power advantage, having knocked out all but two opponents. He most notably went to distance in a close fight with lightweight contender Isaac Cruz in late 2021, edging out a close unanimous decision, but primarily fought one-handed after hurting his left midway through.
Garcia does have power, though, and with his speed advantage, he has the added benefit of potentially hitting you with a punch you don’t see coming. His signature, the left hook, dismissed former world champion Javier Fortuna in his most recent effort last July, which was Garcia’s best and most complete performance yet.
It isn’t to say Davis isn’t fast, he is, but he’s giving up reach and speed advantages. However, he’ll make up for it with his underrated ring I.Q. Yes, he’ll take chances, and yes, he’ll get hit occasionally, but his pronounced power overshadows his overall boxing ability. He’s a well-balanced all-around boxer who could slip punches, counter effectively, and lay traps for oncoming opponents before unleashing an overwhelming onslaught.
To that point, Davis appears to have the defensive edge. Garcia has already been knocked down once in his career — quite famously now — against Luke Campbell in round two of a WBC Interim Lightweight title bout in January 2021.
Campbell has some pop — he was 20-3 with 16 KOs heading into that bout — and the British southpaw dropped Garcia using a jab to the body, followed by a looping left hand just as Garcia lowered his guard — a costly defensive mistake. It’s a concern many thing Davis, who is more powerful than Campbell, will be able to exploit.
And, in actuality, it’s the single biggest question of this fight: Could Garcia withhold Tank’s offense for 12 entire rounds?
So what happens if and potentially when Tank catches Garcia flush? To Garcia’s credit, he got off the canvas and TKO’d Campbell in round seven.
As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you from watching Felix Trinidad — knocked down several times (I believe it’s eight) in his career — it takes character, not just ability, to overcome a potentially weak chin. Trinidad was often dropped early in fights, and he got up to KO his opponent five times. That list included big punchers like Fernando Vargas and Yori Boy Campas. Having that trait against Luke Campbell and having it against Gervonta Davis are two different things. We’ll ultimately find out.
But in Garcia’s favor — Davis is a slow starter. In his most recent fight against Hector Luis Garcia in January (no relation), Davis was widely ahead on the cards, but I had the fight an even 4-4 before Garcia quit on his stool before round nine began. The judges were buggin’, but it was Davis, in his hometown, on PPV: The game is the game.
If King Ry could evade Davis’ pressure, bank early rounds, and use his length, he has a great shot.
For what it’s worth, Davis has gone twelve rounds twice, including a stoppage win over Yuriokis Gamboa in December 2019 and the aforementioned Cruz fight. Garcia fought twelve rounds once, winning a wide unanimous decision against an overmatched Emmanuel Tagoe has April.
Okay, now for why you’re really here.
This is where you should focus on how the fighters match up with one another and what advantages (or disadvantages) it could have in this matchup as a result.
Davis vs. Garcia Pick
Davis opened as and still is the favorite. Most books have had him between two and three to one on the moneyline straight-up. In this sport, that’s basically a 50-50 fight, given the amount of -1,000 favorites you see.
I am almost positive that the most popular bet on the board has been Davis by KO, and of the method of victory winners, it has the least value at -140 — which, by the way, is still great value in boxing. Following that? It’s Garcia by KO at +300. The books don’t see this going to distance at all. Davis is +500 to win by decision, and Garcia follows at +800 on points.
I’ve gone back and forth on this fight for months. I was made even more undecided when covering the damn press conference for the fight several weeks ago (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9izqnBZMaUGDEf1RGnyeVJmHTaSXo8QN).
But the official pick is in: Davis by KO/TKO between rounds 7-12, since it’s at +220 on DraftKings, that’s what I’m doing. Davis is a slow starter and has two sensational sixth-round knockouts in within the last 2.5 years — hello to Rolly Romero and Leo Santa Cruz — but I think Garcia will surprise some people with his endurance, his will, and he has the physical traits, plus speed, to keep Davis at bay for at least the first half of the fight, so long as he doesn’t gamble in an overly courageous manner.
I can’t not give you other bets to consider for a fight this big, so here are a few other potentially worthwhile wagers, including a longshot sprinkle at the end.
Over 7.5 rounds (-115 on DraftKings)
Davis by KO (-140 on DraftKings)
Garcia to be knocked down (-160 on FanDuel)
Garcia to be knocked down and win (+900 on DraftKings)
Enjoy the fight and don’t go broke!
(Seriously, enjoy the fight, the undercard isn’t great.)
The Pick: TBA
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.