Davis, Garcia vow to break each other’s jaws

LAS VEGAS — Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Ryan Garcia on Thursday both vowed to break each other’s jaws when they meet Saturday in a 136-pound catchweight fight between two of boxing’s top stars. Following the news conference, Garcia told ESPN that he envisions the sold-out crowd at T-Mobile Arena turning silent due to the brutal nature of his KO victory.

“I see him getting caught with a left hook, just slept – goodnight,” said Garcia, 24, who owns arguably the quickest hands in boxing. “One of the most brutal knockouts you’ve seen in many years. And the whole crowd’s just going to go silent and we’re all going to have to take a knee. I see that. Seriously.”

Garcia (23-0, 9 KOs) has made a career out of scoring spectacular KOs. There’s the devastating left hook that vanquished Francisco Fonseca in the opening round. And the digging left hook to the body that left Luke Campbell breathless and down for the count. And most recently, a sixth-round KO of Javier Fortuna. Again, it was the left hook.

However, Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) is several levels above those three opponents. The former 130-pound champion is one of the best all-around fighters in the sport and has stopped 18 of his last 19 foes.

Davis, too, is stepping up in competition for the biggest fight of his life. He’s a -260 favorite according to Caesars Sportsbook (Garcia is +210).

“All he talks about is that one punch,” said Davis, 28, in reference to the left hook. “I only need one, too. I touch that jaw and I’m telling you: you’re going to sleep. I’m going to break your jaw, I promise you. Don’t even bring your mother or your daughter.”

Garcia told ESPN that Davis was “definitely … touching the line” by bringing his family into the exchange of fighting words but said he wouldn’t let the talk rattle him.

“It’s just holding control of your anger and not letting anything consume you,” Garcia said. “That’s where I just keep remaining focused and just keep saying ‘that doesn’t matter.’ None of that matters.”

All that truly matters is who comes out on top Saturday night when they meet in the sort of cross-promotion super fight that usually evades boxing fans. Davis has 4.7 million Instagram followers, while Garcia boasts 9.6 million on the platform.

And while no title will be on the line, there’s little wiggle room when it comes to the contract weight. Both fighters won’t step on the scale until after 3 p.m. PT, closer to the opening bell than the routine weigh-in.

Garcia, who owns a 4.5-inch height advantage, campaigned at the 140-pound limit in his previous two fights (138 ¾ in May; 140 in July vs. Fortuna). His last lightweight matchup came in January 2021 vs. Campbell, when he weighed 135. Davis once fought at 140 pounds – an 11th-round TKO of Mario Barrios in June 2021 – but the Baltimore native’s last two fights came at lightweight (135-pound limit).

Besides the late afternoon weigh-in, there’s also a same-day weigh-in to contend with. The rehydration clause in the contract – which isn’t common but is sometimes utilized for big fights – stipulates that neither boxer can gain more than 10 pounds when they’re weighed on Saturday morning(146 pounds). If either boxer does, they stand to face stiff financial penalties — hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, sources said.

“It’s not tough at all,” Garcia, who lives in Southern California, said of the weight cut. “I thought it was going to be tough; I’m not going to lie. I thought it was going to be hard, but on this whole journey, it’s been coming off really easy.”