By: Sean Crose
“The waiting,” Tom Petty tells us, “is the hardest part.” It took Gervonta Davis so long to get to Thursday’s press conference with Ryan Garcia in Manhattan that the fighter known as “Tank” showed up one hour and fifty five minutes late. Although the undefeated Baltimore native and multi divisional titlist apologized for his tardiness after the press conference, his focus on stage was primarily on his fellow undefeated opponent – and with good reason.
For Davis-Garcia is nothing if not a high profile fight, one between two excellent fighters in their primes with huge fan bases and a bona fide appeal to young potential viewers. And once things actually got started, the tension at the press conference began sinking in. While the mutual feeling between the fighters might not have reached the level of outright disdain, it’s clear these young men are two entirely different people. Not that there was no sense of sportsmanship to be found in the proceedings.
“We both made our name coming up,” said Davis. “The time is now. He’s a great fighter, I’m a great fighter, and we’ll put it all on the line April, the 22nd.” After the niceties, however, each man got down to business. “He was talking out the a–,” Davis said regarding a prediction of an early stoppage that had been made by Garcia. “Hey, somebodies got to promote it (the fight),” Garcia responded. “I was here on time, right?” When host Brian Custer went on to bring up the fact that Garcia asked for the match, Davis responded that Garcia would be getting “an ass whooping.”
“I guarantee you a classic,” said Garcia as things came to a close. “It’s going to be a classic fight. I guarantee that. You’re going remember this for a long time.” Davis himself closed by saying “It’s about who really wants it, whose really got that dog in him. That’s whose going to win.” Afterward the two men met for their first face off. Garcia was clearly the taller of two men, but Davis looked cool and not the least bit uncertain. Both fighters then proceeded to jaw at one another aggressively. The verbal battle, which was not caught on available audio, continued for some time.
Correction: In an earlier version of this article it was indicated that Davis was looking to essentially play the role of the “bad guy” in the promotion due to his lateness to the press conference. Davis’ subsequent words and actions, however, have indicated otherwise, and the matter has been corrected here in print.
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