Gervonta Davis Delivers Highlight-Reel
One-Punch Knockout Of
Photos: Amanda Westcott - SHOWTIME
Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis, boxing’s
hottest young attraction, added to his fast-growing
highlight reel and retained his WBA Lightweight Title with a
sensational knockout victory over previously unbeaten
Rolando Romero Saturday night in the main event of a
SHOWTIME PPV in front of a sold out Barclays Center in
Brooklyn in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
For Davis, it was a return to the venue where he won his
first world title via a star-making 2017 KO of Jose Pedraza.
Saturday’s event was the highest grossing and most attended
(18,970) boxing event in the venue’s history.
“We did it again in New York City baby,” said Davis. “Thank
you New York City. I won my first belt here and it was great
to come back to Brooklyn and do it again.”
The fierce rivals finally settled their war of words in the
ring in a highly-anticipated event, although the early
rounds saw the fighters largely feeling each other out.
Davis (27-0, 25 KOs), a three-division world champion,
showed off his movement and boxing abilities through those
rounds, while Romero (14-1, 12 KOs), who promised a
first-round knockout, was unable to hurt Davis despite
pushing the pace initially.
“He was strong for sure but there were a couple shots that I
was getting warmed up with and he caught me and I was like,
‘I can’t sit with him just yet,’” said Davis. “I know when
to take it to my opponents and when to chill out. There was
someone in the crowd and they were telling me to press
forward and I was like, not yet. I got to loosen him up a
In round six, Davis gave his legions of loyal fans what they
had come out to see, landing the decisive blow as he had
guaranteed in the pre-fight build-up. Davis closed the show
with a fierce counter left hook that sent Romero face first
into the ropes and onto the mat.
“The crazy thing is that I didn’t even throw it that hard,”
said Davis. “He just ran into it. He just ran into it.
Something like when Manny 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.”
While Romero was able to rise to his feet, referee David
Fields had seen enough and waived off the action 2:49 into
the round. The fight was fairly even statistically, with
Davis only out-landing Romero 25-22, but with a significant
edge in punch accuracy (30% to 19%) according to CompuBox.
After the fight, Romero stated his intention on a rematch,
while Davis thanked Romero for accepting the fight.
“I want the fight again,” said Romero. “I exposed him and
won every single round. I jumped into something and ate a
“I was thinking as this interview was coming up and as much
as I wanted to be cocky, but I want to thank ‘Rolly,’” said
Davis. “I want to thank his team. We settled it like men
inside the ring. I wish him the best in the future.”
In the co-main event, Cuban star Erislandy “The American
Dream” Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) dominated Gary “Spike”
O’Sullivan (31-5, 21 KOs) to retain his WBA Middleweight
Title via an eighth-round TKO.
A two-division champion who landed 54% of his power punches
in the bout, Lara waited patiently for his opening against
the aggressive O’Sullivan, and broke through for the first
time late in round four. He sent O’Sullivan down in the
closing moments of the round with a blistering counter left
hand that hurt him before dropping him with a straight right
“This new style that I’m demonstrating is for all the boxers
to show them how I can fight now, just being able to change
up,” said Lara. “He was a tough boxer, too. I’m a smart
boxer, a slick boxer, that’s what I did tonight. I waited
until he attacked and then I did what I had to do to win the
O’Sullivan was again saved by the bell in round five, as
Lara hurt him as the round waned with a right hook-straight
left combination. Showing the precision that has made him
renowned as one of the sport’s most skilled fighters for
years, Lara struck again at the end of round seven, wobbling
O’Sullivan severely moments before the bell rang.
After receiving attention from the ringside physician before
round eight, O’Sullivan ran into another straight left hand
from Lara early in the round, prompting referee Benjy
Esteves to waive off the bout 23 seconds into the frame.
“I saw the opening, he was leaving himself open and that’s
when the left came in and knocked him down,” said Lara. “I
saw in the eighth round he didn’t have any more power and
that’s when I stepped up and showed my power.”
The telecast also saw rising star Jesus “Mono” Ramos (19-0,
15 KOs) earn a unanimous decision over rugged battler Luke
Santamaria (13-3-1, 7 KOs) by scores of 98-92 and 97-93
twice in their 10-round super welterweight attraction.
The 21-year-old Ramos was able to impose his size advantage
from the outset, pushing Santamaria backwards and forcing
him to fight off the ropes for much of the fight. With the
victory, Ramos was able to avenge the loss of his uncle Abel
Ramos, who lost a decision to Santamaria in February.
“Yes of course it was important to avenge my uncle’s loss,”
said Ramos. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to win, but I think
it takes two to tango and tonight I was the one who wanted
to fight. I’m not really satisfied. I could have done a lot
better but like I said, it takes two to tango and tonight
Santamaria didn’t want to fight.”
“I thought it was closer than that, I thought we got the
win,” said Santamaria. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.
I moved up in weight. I thought he was going to be stronger
than that. I thought we did enough to win the fight.”
Fighting at the 154-pound limit for the first time since his
second pro fight, Santamaria came into this bout off of
back-to-back upset victories over Abel Ramos and Devon
Alexander, and had strong moments in the fight countering
his imposing opponent. Although Santamaria had an advantage
in punches thrown (660-625), it was Ramos who held the lead
in punches landed (158-142) and accuracy (25% to 22%).
“I could have pressed a little more, gone to the body a
little more, but he was kind of slippery in there,” said
Ramos. “I didn’t want to risk anything because he would
counter so I was trying to stay composed and stay at my
“The plan was to box him and to get him tired and it was
working,” said Santamaria. “I thought it worked. He never
hurt me, never felt his power. I was good. I thought he was
going to be tough. I’m just as tough as they come.”
Ramos clinched the victory with a strong performance in the
closing rounds, eventually earning the decision as he looks
to continue improving and rising up the rankings as a top
"I want whoever they want to put in front of me,” said
Ramos. “We're going to keep going forward and take whatever
fight my team thinks is best for me. He won some rounds
because I let him work a little too much, but we're going to
keep getting better and grow from this.”
In the pay-per-view opener, super featherweight contender
Eduardo “Zurdito” Ramirez (27-2-3, 12 KOs) edged out a
majority decision victory over Puerto Rico’s Luis Melendez
(17-2, 13 KOs) in their 10-round showdown.
"The first few rounds were even, but after that he only had
his jab,” said Ramirez. “I was able to hurt him. He tried to
win going backwards and that's no way to win.”
“I felt I won the fight,” said Melendez. “It’s part of the
game. You just have to go back and keep training and just
come back better.”
The contest was fought evenly throughout, with both fighters
building momentum at certain moments, only to have their
opponent fire back to keep the action squared. The punch
stats reflected the close nature of the fight, with Melendez
holding a 193 to 171 edge in punches landed, while Ramirez
bested him in accuracy by a 31% to 29% margin.
Ramirez had his best moments of the fight pushing Melendez
back on the ropes, buoyed by a significant advantage in body
shots landed (79-16). Melendez was able to avoid taking too
much damage with constant activity and sharp counter
uppercuts that temporarily halted Ramirez’s forward
In round eight, Melendez resorted to dropping his hands
while on the ropes, in the hopes of catching a hard-charging
Ramirez. However, Ramirez would go on to have his biggest
advantage in punches landed in that frame (28-19). After a
hard-fought round 10 that all three judges scored for
Ramirez, he took home the victory with scores of 95-95,
98-92 and 96-94.
“I just have to go back to the drawing board and get
better,” said Melendez. “I’m still young. I felt I landed
the crisper punches and out-boxed him. He never hurt me.
"I want to fight for the world title next,” said Ramirez.
“I'm ready for any of the top fighters. I don't shy away
from tough challenges."
Prior to the pay-per-view telecast, bouts streaming on the
SHOWTIME Sports YouTube page was headlined by super
welterweight contender Luis “Cuba” Arias (20-3-1, 9 KOs)
earning a hard-fought unanimous decision over Jimmy Williams
(18-8-2, 6 KOs) by the score of 99-91 on each judges’ card.
Additional streaming action saw rising prospect Jalil
Hackett (4-0, 3 KOs) deliver a second round TKO over
previously unbeaten Jose Belloso (4-1, 4 KOs) 2:20 seconds
into the round.
The most trusted and experienced team in combat sports
called the pay-per-view. Veteran sportscaster Brian Custer
hosted the SHOWTIME PPV telecast while renowned
International Boxing Hall of Famer Barry Tompkins handled
blow-by-blow action alongside fellow Hall of Fame analyst Al
Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares.
Three additional Hall of Famers rounded out the SHOWTIME
telecast team – Emmy® award-winning reporter Jim Gray,
unofficial scorer Steve Farhood and world-renowned ring
announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. Sportscaster Alejandro Luna
called the action with former junior middleweight world
champion and SHOBOX analyst Raúl “El Diamante” Marquez
serving as expert analyst in Spanish on Secondary Audio
Programming (SAP). Brian Campbell of the popular SHOBOX: The
New Generation series, called the live preliminary bouts
streaming on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel alongside
NBA champion Stephen Jackson of ALL THE SMOKE and former
unified world champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams.
The executive producer of SHOWTIME PPV was four-time Emmy
award winner David Dinkins Jr., the director was Bob Dunphy,
son of legendary Hall of Famer Don Dunphy.
The replay will air Saturday, June 4, following the start of
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING headlined by unified WBC and
WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Fulton Jr.
against former unified champion Danny Roman live on SHOWTIME
in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Armory in
Minneapolis. The telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with
the replay of Davis vs. Romero and will then feature WBA
Super Middleweight Champion and Minneapolis fan-favorite
David Morrell Jr. facing Kalvin Henderson in the co-main