By Sean Crose
A solid night of matchups began at the Palms in Vegas Friday night with Gervonta Davis (13-0) facing off against Luis Sanchez (17-4-1) in a ten round lightweight throwdown. It proved to be a study in patience. Davis, a student of Floyd Mayweather Jr, followed his teacher’s lead by becoming familiar with his opponent before taking charge.
Davis landed hard and clean. Indeed, it looked like the bout may not be long for this world…until it became clear that Sanchez wasn’t going to be a pushover. Indeed, he landed hard on Davis a few times himself. By the middle of the fight, Mayweather – who was there live – was out of his seat and talking to Davis directly.
For while it was true that Davis resembled a more aggressive version of Mayweather at times, he wasn’t able to steadily stay in control the way his mentor always had. Truth be told, Sanchez was most certainly in the fight by round seven. What’s more, Davis even looked a bit puzzled. It then became questionable whether or not the Baltimore native would be able to adapt and adjust as the bout wore on to the final rounds.
Things continued to be competitive throughout the eighth…until a pair of picture perfect uppercuts sent Sanchez to the mat. The Mexican slugger got gamely back to his feet, but looked about finished. To Sanchez’ everlasting credit, however, the man survived the round. The fight was not to last much longer, though. A strange uppercut-hook hybrid put Sanchez down in the ninth and abruptly ended the bout.
Chris Pearson (13-0) and Eric Walker (11-0) followed things up in a scheduled eight round super welterweight scrap. Walker came out throwing haymakers. They made him noticeable, but Pearson remained calm. Would he remain too calm, though?
Sure enough, Pearson got more aggressive in the third. Still, he got nailed extremely hard in the fourth – hard to enough to put the man in serious trouble. Pearson looked just about to go down at round’s end, but came back swinging. It was an interesting affair.
By the fifth it was Pearson who was whaling away at Walker. Still, Walker continued to bang hard himself. It was a slugfest, to be sure, but perhaps an assertion of skill on the part of either man might have proven helpful.
One thing that could not be denied by the sixth round, however, was that each man was going all out. Televised fights are big opportunities and each combatant was making the most of it. The tempo and action kept up throughout the seventh. And, by the eighth, things came to a climax. Both men swung. Both men dug deep. It was war and the fans approved – with great reason.
Needless to say, Walker won a just unanimous decision – though perhaps by some wide judging.