WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 21-0 (20) kept his undefeated record alive with a sensational first-round knockout of late replacement Hugo Ruiz 39-5 (33) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday night.
The fight itself lasted about as long at Davis’s ring walk to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – replete with zombies.
The 24-year-old champion showed why he is one of the brightest young stars of the sport, expertly setting up his shots before the coup de grace late in the round when a right hook from his southpaw stance smashed into Ruiz’s nose and sent him to the canvas. The 32-year-old Mexican challenger bravely rose to his feet but was in no condition to continue with referee Jack Reiss waving off the contest at 2:59.
“I did what I said I was going to do, and just looking to the future, I’m ready for it,” said Davis, who was fighting in his first main event and received $1 million for less than three-minutes work. “Tonight, I did great.”
Ruiz stepped in as a last minute replacement for Abner Mares after the former three-division world champion was forced to withdraw after suffering a detached retina two weeks out from the fight. In his last outing on the Manny Pacquiao versus Adrien Broner pay-per-view undercard on January 19
Ruiz defeated Alberto Guevara by 10-round unanimous decision.
“I caught him with a left hand, and then I caught him again with an uppercut – I threw the same punch right back,” Davis said. “I knew he was hurt. I always break people’s noses with the uppercut, not the hook.”
Davis’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr was full of praise for his young charge, even going as far as to suggest he could surpass his own superlative career in the ring.
“If any fighter can surpass me, it’s this young man right here, which I truly believe,” Mayweather said to the Los Angeles Times. “He’s going to be a household name. He’s going to be a pay-per-view star.”