10 Feb 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
CARSON >> Gervonta Davis brought his brand of boxing to Los Angeles for the first time on Saturday night, and the power-punching super featherweight champion put on a violent spectacle befitting of the moment.
Davis retained his WBA super featherweight title with a right hook that put his short-notice challenger, Hugo Ruiz, on the canvas with a delayed knockdown late in the opening round.
Ruiz stood before referee Jack Reiss could count to 10, but the Mexican fighter from Sinaloa failed to respond affirmatively when he was asked if he could continue. Reiss called the fight with one second remaining in the round after Ruiz, whose nose was broken according to the official, looked away.
“He basically made the decision,” Reiss said of Ruiz, who accepted the fight last week when Abner Mares was forced to pull out of the bout due to an injured elbow he suffered while training.[related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-section”]
Walking to the ring to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Davis’ entrance brought a boisterous crowd of 8,048 to life.
“Tonight I just wanted to put on a great performance,” said Davis, who drew celebrities and athletes like Drake, Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown to watch him fight at the Dignity Health Sports Park.
Wearing black and red bedazzled shoes and trunks, the 24-year-old Davis touched Ruiz several times, quickly identifying a hook or an uppercut as punches that could hurt Ruiz (39-5).
The right hook that put Ruiz away came after Davis landed several straight lefts.
The heavy-hitting southpaw, known as “Tank,” walked into the ring with a seven-pound weight advantage despite standing 4 inches shorter than Ruiz.
“I’m so excited to come back strong in 2019,” Davis said this week. “This is the year that could put me over the top and put me at the highest level.”
The 130-pound champion expressed a desire to fight three or four more times in 2019.
No. 1-ranked WBA super lightweight contender Mario Barrios (23-0, 15 KO) added to his impressive tally with a fourth-round technical knockout over Mexican boxer Richard Zamora (19-3).
Making his U.S. debut, Zamora, 25, faced down his taller, longer and more physically imposing opponent, however, he could not muster much of answer against the 23-year-old puncher from San Antonio.
Barrios connected on 59 percent of his power punches leading to the decisive finishing sequence that prompted referee Jay Corona to stop the contest at 2:16 of Round 4.
“I’m ready for that next step,” Barrios said.
Opening the Showtime Championship Boxing telecast, the Dominican Republic’s Javier Fortuna had little trouble during his 10-round lightweight affair with Las Vegas fighter Sharif Bogere (32-2).
Fortuna (34-2-1) scored a knockdown off an uppercut in the sixth round that helped him tally identical 96-93 scorecards from three California judges, Max DeLuca, Fernando Villareal and Zachary Young.