Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia announced on Instagram on Thursday that they’ll meet in a long-awaited superfight next year in Las Vegas.
The fight will be contested at a 136-pound catchweight and is slated to take place in April, sources told ESPN.
Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) tweeted that he’ll first fight on Jan. 7 in what amounts to a tuneup bout. The star boxer’s trial for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run crash is scheduled for Feb. 16 in Baltimore, according to court records. Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs) could have an interim fight as well, but that hasn’t been decided yet, according to a source.
The Davis-Garcia pay-per-view will be produced and distributed by Showtime, the network that’s exclusively televised Davis’ events, sources said. DAZN, which streams Garcia’s fights, will offer the PPV through its service. Joe Markowski, the CEO of DAZN’s North American business, tweeted that there’s an agreement in principle for the bout but that contracts have yet to be exchanged.
“Boxing needs this fight right now,” Garcia tweeted. “It’s time for us to get back to what made this sport so great for the fans: Glamorous fights in places like Las Vegas, grudge match storylines, and most importantly – the best fighting the best.”
Indeed, the news of Davis-Garcia is a shot in the arm for a sport that’s failed to deliver marquee matchups consistently. Davis, a 28-year-old from Baltimore, is one of the biggest needle-movers in boxing.
“Tank” has 3.8 million Instagram followers and routinely fights before a host of celebrities from the sports and music industries. ESPN’s No. 3 lightweight, Davis won a junior lightweight title with a seventh-round KO of Jose Pedraza in 2017.
His two most-recent wins came against Isaac Cruz and Rolly Romero in 135-pound bouts.
Garcia is a star, too, with 9 million followers on Instagram. Regarded for his lightning-quick hands, the 24-year-old scored a career-best win in January 2021 after he survived a knockdown to stop Luke Campbell in the seventh round.
He didn’t fight the rest of 2021 after he withdrew from a fight with Javier Fortuna to address his mental health followed by wrist surgery that scrapped a bout with Joseph Diaz Jr.
Garcia, who fights out of the San Diego area, returned this year with wins over Emmanuel Tagoe and Javier Fortuna at 140 pounds. Garcia, who formerly campaigned at 135 pounds, vowed to remain at 140 but will drop four pounds for the catchweight bout.
The deal was a complicated one to piece together. Davis is aligned with Mayweather Promotions and PBC while Garcia is with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
The two companies rarely do business with one another, and the competing networks was another issue. Garcia conceded to the short end of the revenue split, per sources.
“It’s high time that those outside the ring stop getting in the way of those who want nothing more than to get into the ring and fight,” tweeted De La Hoya, a hall-of-fame boxer.
The fighters have exchanged insults on social media for years, but boxing politics seemed to prevent the bout from materializing, much to the chargin of the sport’s fans. But now, Davis and Garcia are on a collision course for, perhaps, the biggest event boxing can offer.
“We have two supremely talented boxers, both in their prime and with huge fanbases, meeting in a career-defining fight,” Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza said in a statement. “This is the epitome of a crossover boxing event. All credit to Tank and Ryan for staying the course and giving the fans the fight they want.”