Ryan Garcia and Tank Davis will fight on April 22 in Las Vegas. Today they met face to face the first press conference announcement in Manhattan at the Palladium Times Square. I have to say, Davis is one of the most uninteresting professional athletes I’ve ever seen or heard. I can’t recall him ever saying one interesting sentence in his career.
Nothing interesting was said by any of the combatants or their support teams today. Just the same old scripted talking points of what a great fight it will be, they both wanted it, two superstars, etc etc. The most common themes mentioned today were about each fighter’s fan bases and potential numbers and the businessmen involved asking for today’s observers to help them promote the fight to boxing fans and non-boxing fans. Back in the “golden days” of the 90s and 2000s, promoters didn’t have to ask fans and media to help them spread the word to buy the PPV. Times have changed. Hopefully, for the sake of the sport, this will be a “real fight” and not a another lackluster, soft, business “sparring” event.
The press conference was an extremely disappointing dud without any hint of any tension, grudge or bad blood between the two sides, which suggests it may well be a joint business event.
“We’re back at it. This time we got another dance partner. I know that it’s going to be tough. This fight is definitely going to be tough. But this is what we came to do. We want the big fights.
“I’ve been boxing since I was seven. I fought a lot coming up. I’m just happy to be a part of this moment and share the ring with a young fighter like Ryan Garcia who’s daring himself to be great. He talked his way into this fight. April 22 he’s going to have to show it.
“I’m coming from Baltimore and a lot of people don’t make it from there. I’m just happy to be a part of this event. I couldn’t have done this by myself. I had a great team that got me here.
“We’ve stayed focused and kept our head down and continued to grind. That’s what really matters.
“I think this is important because we’re both young. Both of us are at our peak. A lot of young fighters don’t fight each other. We both made our name coming up and the time is now. We’re both great fighters and we put it all on the line.
“All I have to do is keep working and beat whoever they put in front of me. That starts with Ryan Garcia.
“My strategy is going to depend on what he brings that night. Whether he’s coming fast or slow, I always want to take my time. It all depends on what he brings.
“This is going to be an explosive fight. It’s two young guys who are hungry. It’s all about who wants it more. Whoever is really built like that, that’s who’s going to win. Nobody can fight for him. It’s about who’s got that dog in them.”
“This is a fight that I’ve been wanting for a very long time. To be a champion, you have to beat the best. It’s not about the titles, it’s about who you beat. It’s a testimony to the respect I have for Gervonta as a fighter.
“I want to be the best. During this whole journey, I put boxing first and the fans first. I had to accept a lot of stipulations, but my power comes from within and from above. My strength comes from my heart.
“We really came together and conquered the poison that’s been stopping boxing from making the biggest fights. We found a way.
“April 22 is the time where the words won’t matter anymore. The truth will come out. We’re both great fighters and we’ll settle it in the ring.
“If you look at boxing, it’s been hard to get prime fighters together. It usually happens too late. This is a moment that boxing has been longing for. You really can’t make a bigger fight than this.
“This is a defining moment in our careers. This is about legacy. This is about who really wants the crown.
“’Tank’ has the image of a devastating puncher. He’s a great fighter. I’ll know within myself what type of fighter I am after this fight. This is what I’ve always wanted.
“I just didn’t want to take the risk of an interim fight before this one. There are a lot of little things that can happen. I didn’t wait this long to mess it up at the finish line.
“I’m going to be ready for 12 rounds. You have to respect your opponent. You can’t just jump in to get a knockout. It might be more of a mental fight than people might believe. Different opponents make you approach fights in different ways.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“These two are bringing boxing back. You’re going to feel this energy. These are two great fighters. Y’all made it happen.
“This fight is about the next generation of boxing to come. I can’t wait for the night to be on this new level. After this fight, who’s going to be sitting on this throne? It’s a passing of the torch.
“We’ve been waiting for something like this for years. This is the fight that’s going to make the other fighters actually fight. This is how it’s done.
“Y’all ain’t seen nothing yet. The best is yet to come. I really can’t wait. We’re ready. Let’s do it.”
JOE GOOSSEN, Garcia’s Trainer
“What a great event this is going to be. When you get the two fighters together, it becomes real. We’ve both been training, but I think after this press conference, you get a renewed invigoration.
“We know it’s going to be a tough fight. Ryan is a great fighter and I know that you’re both going to put on a great show.
“These two men are going to go down in history. This is an incredible pairing that you don’t see too often. This is a pay-per-view that I would not miss. Because it’s going to be that exciting. We have two of the best fighters of this era sitting down at this table and I just can’t wait.”
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“It’s happening. This highly anticipated super fight, which the fans have been begging for, is happening April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Make no mistake, this is a super fight. It’s one of the biggest that boxing has to offer.
“It’s not often in today’s game that we see two fighters in their prime, both undefeated and both powerful knockout punchers, colliding in their primes.
“This is boxing at its best. It wasn’t ordered. It’s the case of the two best fighters in the division making this happen.
“Any fight with ‘Tank’ equates to big business and financial success. He’s broken records everywhere he’s fought and it’s made him one of boxing’s biggest stars. He’s one of the most explosive and dangerous fighters in the world.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, Boxing Promoter
“This is two undefeated guys coming together and it’s going to be nothing but fireworks. You have to give all the credit to the two fighters. It’s not about the promoters, it’s about Ryan forcing this fight.
“This is by far the biggest fight in the entire sport. I recall that a couple of years ago when I was in Miami, Ryan approached me and said I want to ‘eff your boy up’. That’s the only fight that he wanted.
“’Tank’ Davis is going to go out there and show you why he’s one of the best fighters in the world.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions
“This is a mega-fight. That phrase gets thrown around a lot. How often do you get two guys who are undefeated, with huge fan bases and who are early in the peak of their career?
“This is bringing the best two fighters in their weight division in the same ring. We’re all working together to make this big mega-fight. It almost never happens, but this is one that the world is not going to miss.
“We’re going to bring back the glory days because of Ryan Garcia. April 22 these two fighters are going to battle it out. I’m not going to fight for them. They have to do the job themselves.
“These two wanted this fight. Ryan Garcia wanted this fight years ago and now it’s here. May the best man win. I have a lot of respect for ‘Tank’. He’s a special fighter, but Ryan Garcia is special as well.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Golden Boy Promotions Partner
“This is one of those fights that we didn’t see except for once or twice a year in the 1980s or 1990s. This fight has the ingredients. These two fighters will be future Hall of Famers. This is the biggest fight of this year. We should all treat it that way.
“Tell everyone who aren’t fight fans to tune in to this one. This is going to be a fight that hooks them and makes them stay in the sweet science.
“Don’t ask me who is going to win, because you know which side I am on.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, SHOWTIME SPORTS
“’Tank’ Davis and Ryan Garcia are two fighters in the core social media demographic who are legitimate fighters with huge fan bases. This is a social media promotion. These guys don’t get the credit they deserve for being skilled boxers. They are obviously bringing in fans beyond the core base. They are brands.
“We have two very different fan bases geographically who both travel. Ryan’s fan base is really strong in Southern California, the Southwest, and among the Mexican-American community. ‘Tank’s’ core is the East Coast, although he has obviously done well across the country. We have two very engaged fan bases, and two very different fighters.
“This fight is the rising tide that lifts all boats. There is an enthusiasm that permeates everything else. It elevates the level of action.
“This fight is one of the cornerstones of our very ambitious 2023 schedule. It’s a battle of the two most popular young fighters in the sport, two fighters in their athletic prime and two of the most exciting fighters in any weight division. Put that together and you have the biggest fight that is on the boxing schedule.
“When a fight this big gets made, there is no shortage of people rushing to take credit. ‘Tank’ Davis and Ryan Garcia deserve the credit for this fantastic event. Throughout the long negotiating process, they never wavered. They remained focused, refused to take the easy way out and take other opportunities, and delivered what the sport and the fans wanted.”