By: Sean Crose
“Gervonta did what he had to do, man, he won the fight, but I was going for Ryan. But he gave up, man. I feel like he gave up. I feel like he should have did what he had to do to win the fight. When we get down we gotta get back up. We got to ask for God for that victory. But I feel like that’s what he should have done. I still feel Ryan should have did more. He should have risked his life more. He should have risked his life more.” Those words, from the mouth of former IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz, were said after Garcia was knocked out by a body blow from Gervonta Davis during their Saturday superfight.
Ruiz may have been speaking in the heat of the moment, as he himself admitted he had been pulling for Garcia. Yet Ruiz wasn’t the only fighter of note to be critical of Garcia, who was conscious on one knee while he was counted on this weekend. Former WBC cruiserweight titlist Tony Bellew was also unimpressed by the fact Garcia didn’t beat the count. “You’ve gotta rise! Do it once and you’ll do it again!” Bellew warned. Former IBF junior welterweight titlist Ishe Smith was even more blunt. “He fucking quit,” Smith said of Garcia.
Yet Garcia also had his defenders. “For anyone who thinks that Ryan Garcia quit,” legendary broadcaster Al Bernstein stated on social media. “I have this to say. He got knocked down early by a very big punch by a big puncher, got up & kept fighting for 4 more rounds. When he got hit with a debilitating body shot he couldn’t continue. Period. How does that equal quitting?” Bernstein makes a good point. It’s easy to criticize a fighter, especially if you yourself had never entered the ring. Plus, Ryan Garcia was the only person on earth to feel the starcher Davis landed on him, so only he can or can’t indicate the level of debilitation the shot gave him.
Noted fight journalist Mike Coppinger also moved in to defend Garcia. “Ryan Garcia didn’t quit,” he argued, “far from it. He rose from a second-round knockdown and then was paralyzed by a perfectly placed liver shot from an elite fighter. Garcia now returns to 140 as the division’s biggest star where more big fights await.”
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