Sunday, February 05, 2023  |



Gervonta Davis stops Rolando Romero with one punch in Round 6

Gervonta Davis ended his competitive bout with Rolando Romero with his big left hand. Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

NEW YORK — It was a fight that had to end in a knockout, and that’s exactly what happened.

With less than a minute remaining in the sixth round, Gervonta Davis uncorked a left hand thunderbolt on to Rolly Romero’s chin, erasing what had previously been an underwhelming performance in a moment.

The shot sent Romero crashing into the ropes, causing the Barclays Center’s 18,970 in attendance to erupt in an applause that could only be rivaled by the Nets winning the NBA championship.

Davis landed one more power shot than Romero – 20 to 19 – and it was the one shot that mattered. 

Davis (27-0, 25 knockouts) picked up his latest victory at the 2:39 mark, with Romero (14-1, 12 KOs) being stopped standing – but wobbling – by referee David Fields.

The fight headlined a Showtime pay-per-view card.

The finality of the knockout puts an exclamation mark on a promotion that had been marked by animosity and insults, culminating in Davis pushing Romero off the stage at the weigh-in after the Las Vegas resident disrespected “Tank” Davis by standing in front of him on the scale.

“I was thinking as this interview was coming up and as much as I wanted to be cocky, but I want to thank Rolly. I want to thank his team. We settled it like men inside the ring. I wish him the best in the future,” said Davis, who retains a secondary WBA lightweight title with the victory.

Romero had his moments against Davis. Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Despite the highlight reel finish, Davis’ marked face tells the story of the tough battle that was. Davis was rocked momentarily by a sneaky left from the larger, muscular Romero in round two, and received a few extra seconds to recover as the referee warned Romero for roughhousing in close. Davis answered back moments later with a sneaky straight left as Romero walked forward carelessly.

Romero remained awkward and dangerous in round three, jumping in with right hands that opened up the door for left hooks over the top. 

Davis had been scheduled to fight Romero last December, but Romero had been removed from the fight after sexual assault allegations were made public against him. Davis hurt his left hand in the fight against the replacement foe, Isaac Cruz, and appeared to hurt it again in round five. Whether he did or not, he still had enough strength in it to let it fly for the knockout punch.

Davis compared the knockout punch to the one that Juan Manuel Marquez caught Manny Pacquiao with in 2012, in a fight that also ended in round 6.

“The crazy thing is that I didn’t even throw it that hard. He just ran into it,” said Davis. “Something like when Pacquiao got caught. I didn’t even throw it that hard and he’s the one who ran into it, when he was talking that it was going to be me.”

The fight proved to be a financial success as well. The promoter announced that the show was the venue’s highest grossing boxing event since the venue first began hosting boxing events at the venue when it first opened in 2012, as well as the venue’s highest attended boxing event. A financial figure was not released by the promoter.


Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected]


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