Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia evidently were told to rachet up the hostility.
The rivals met on Thursday for the second of two news conferences to promote their April 22 pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas. And they spent a lot of time sniping at one another during the formal portion of the event.
They touched on a lot of subjects but the overriding theme was Davis’ perception that Garcia is a fighter who relies almost exclusively on his potent left hook to win fights.
Davis initiated a back-and-forth exchange while he was sitting on one side of a dais and Garcia was making his opening comments at a lectern at The Bevely Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.
“You like to fight guys who don’t hit hard,” Garcia said while he looked at Davis. “Guess what? I do hit hard. And when I hit you with that left hook …”
“What else?” Davis interrupted.
“What else? Watch when I hit you with it. You’ll be on the floor, sleeping, good night,” Garcia responded.
“What else?” Davis asked again.
“What else? You’re going to wake up in the hospital,” Garcia said.
Then Davis got specific.
“You’re not a complete fighter,” he said. “You’re not a complete fighter. You don’t go no footwork, you don’t got no IQ, you don’t got nothing, bro. You have a left hook. That’s all.”
The theme continued when the fighters were asked questions following their initial comments.
Davis had said during the first news conference Wednesday in New York City that he is more skillful than Garcia, a one-time amateur star who has built a reputation as one of the biggest punchers in the sport as a professional.
Davis was asked again whether Garcia boxes as well as he does.
“No,” he said. “All they talk about is that left hook. One punch. That’s it. When you’re a complete fighter, you can do everything. You can’t just depend on one punch. What happens when that punch don’t work?
“You have to rely on something else. C’mon, bro.”
Garcia responded, “I’m just going to let him think what he thinks. If he thinks all I have is a left hook, I’ll keep letting him believe it. It’s all on him. When he gets hit with other shorts, then he’s going to confused.
“It doesn’t really matter. He sounds dumb right now. If he’s watched by fights, he understands I have other punches.”
The fighters continued war of words for a while until Garcia finally stated the obvious: A special left hook can take you a long way.
“The left hook is a blessing from God,” he said. “… Maybe all I need is the left hook, maybe that’s all it will take. Thank you, God.”
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