Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Fighters Network

BALTIMORE, MD – Gervonta “Tank” Davis did what he was supposed to do Saturday night, before a sellout of 14,686 at the Royal Farms Arena in his WBA super featherweight title defense.

But it might have come with a little help.

Referee Harvey Dock, actually a very good official with a solid reputation, may have made a premature stoppage at 1:33 of the second round when he stepped in between Davis and Ricardo Nunez and waved it over.

On Tuesday morning, Maxim Dadashev died after suffering injuries in a fight in Oxon Hill, Maryland, last Friday.

The underlying feeling was that if any fighter was even in a hint of trouble, the fight would be stopped.

“I saw (Nunez) get hit with a couple of big shots, and I decided to stop it,” Dock said. “I thought Nunez was defenseless at that point—and he was.

“Tank punched him and he kept on coming. Nunez dropped his hands and he was unable to defend himself so I have to stop the fight.”

Davis (22-0, 21 knockouts) landed two big lefts, then a right. Nunez (21-3, 19 KOs) was in trouble. There was no denying that. But it appeared he was able to continue.

Gervonta Davis ended it early against Ricardo Nunez. Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.

Davis connected on 45% of his power punches (9 of 20) in round two.

“It’s amazing to fight in front of my fans and friends,” Davis said. “It’s not only a win for me, but a win for Baltimore. He wasn’t ready at all times. I took advantage and I took the shot. I caught him with a good shot. I’m only 24 and I’m growing every day. I’m learning and progressing, I’m working.”

In the first, Davis used his jab. The southpaw showed good poise, considering all of the emotion charging the Royal Farms Arena.

Nunez even threw out a little right elbow at the hometown guy after the first round. That seemed to grab Davis’ attention for a second.

In the co-feature, Yuriorkis Gamboa, the 37-year-old Cuban expatriate, made a strong argument that he should be next to step in the ring with Tank.

Gamboa’s superior hand speed created problems for Roman Rocky Martinez in the first round. In the first 20 seconds of the second round, Gamboa (30-2, 18 KOs) pounded Martinez with a right, which sent the 36-year-old veteran to the canvas for the first of two times in the round.

Yuriorkis Gamboa stops Roman Martinez. Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

The end came the second hammering right landed flush on Martinez’s face. Referee Bill Clancy didn’t need long to determine it was over, with the official time coming at 2:00 of the second.

According CompuBox ShoStats, Gamboa landed 49% of his power punches.

“I had said in the fighter meetings I have genetics. I have explosiveness and speed. I just have it,” Gamboa said through a translator. “I didn’t want to get desperate (after the first knockdown), but I knew it was a matter of time before I knocked him out.

“That’s the plan of the event. Next, me and Gervonta Davis.”

A pair of southpaws were involved in the first TV undercard fight, which Ladarius Miller (20-1, 6 KOs) won by 10-round split-decision over Panamanian Jezzrel Corrales (23-3, 9 KOs).

After a slow start, Miller settled quickly in the second round. Though at times, “Memphis” appeared tight. That seemed to entice Corrales forward and flick a stiff jab, which bounced off of Miller’s face.

Through three, neither fighter had opened a lead. In the fourth, Miller stung Corrales a few times with rights to the chin. The veteran handled it well.

With 1:19 left in the fifth, Miller bounced a left off of Corrales’ head. Though, in the last :10 of the round, Corrales came on and closed strong.

After five, the fight was still a toss-up.

With :48 left in the sixth, Corrales hit Miller on the break. Referee Brent Bovell gave Corrales a stiff warning if he were to do it again, he would take a point away.

With 1:30 left in the seventh, Miller landed a one-two that momentarily rocked Corrales. Miller had suffered a slight cut over his right eye after a clash if heads, though it didn’t cause any serious problems. Corrales and Miller both swung wildly and missed near the end of the round.

Corrales switched to an orthodox style in the ninth, leading counter rights that connected. It appeared to be enough for Corrales to win the round, and possibly give him an edge entering the 10th.

With :56 left in the final round, Bovell called time to address loose tape on Corrales’ gloves. It gave Miller a break to catch his breath. With :46 left, the fighters got tangled and Corrales was tossed to the canvas. Corrales got back up with a flip, but he was penalized a point by Bovell.

Corrales held Miller’s right arm as he was falling. Maybe that’s why Bovell took the point away.

Judges Larry Hazzard Jr. (96-93) and Dave Moretti (95-94) both had Miller winning, while Lynne Carter had it 96-93 for Corrales.

Corrales landed 83 of 398 total punches (21%), while Miller connected on 60 of 275 total punches (22%).

According CompuBox ShoStats, the average output for this fight was far lower than the 59.4-punch-per-round lightweight average (27.5 per round for Miller, 39.8 for Corrales). Miller landed just 23 body shots in 10 rounds. Corrales prevailed 83-60 overall, 26-15 jabs and 57-45 power shots, but the percentages were close (22%-21% overall for Miller, 18%-12% jabs for Corrales and 30%-23% power for Miller).

In the first fight of the night, Javon Campbell won his pro debut, winning a four-round super bantamweight decision over Isau Duenez (1-9-1). DeMichael Harris, who was making his pro debut, stopped Terrance Harris (0-2) at 1:41 of the first round of a scheduled four-round super featherweight bout.

Kenny Robles (7-1, 3 KOs) won a six-round, unanimous decision over Shawn West (3-1, 2 KOs), while super featherweight Jayson Velez (29-5-1, 21 KOs) stopped Hector Suarez (12-11-2, 6 KOs) at 2:07 of round seven.

Super flyweight Dylan Price (9-0, 6 KOs) won a unanimous eight-round decision over Samuel Gutierrez (16-24-6, 6 KOs). In a scheduled eight-round super lightweight bout, Kareem Martin (12-2-1, 3 KOs) stopped Luis Avila (8-14-3, 5 KOs) when Avila couldn’t answer the bell for the fourth round. It was officially recorded as a KO 3, at 3:00 for Martin.

Baltimore native Malik Hawkins (16-0, 9 KOs) remained undefeated by winning an eight-round super lightweight decision over Johnathan Steele (9-5-1, 6 KOs).

Staying with the Baltimore-native theme, Malik Warren made a successful pro debut with a first-round stoppage over Davonte McCowen (0-1-1) at 2:57 in a scheduled four-rounder.

Warren didn’t have it easy. The taller, older McCowen nailed the younger, shorter fighter with a few head shots, before Warren came charging back late in the round to get McCowen stuffed against the ropes when referee David Braslow stepped in to wave it over.

Joseph Santoliquito is the President of the Boxing Writers Association of America and has written for The Ring/ since 1997. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.



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