It’s a New Year! We keep saying that! This’ll be the last time, because it’s the last thing to bring into THE NEW YEAR!
HEY! Thanks to the Ioka vs Franco draw on New Year’s Eve in Japan, last year’s staff predictions also wound up a draw in the final standings, with Wil and Patrick sharing the crown. Personally I think they should settle it by playing Tekken or something, but most likely that’s it, that’s all.
I, Scott, finished in fourth place, which is actually pretty good when you think about it.
Anyway, this week’s first round of picks! Away!
The weight is not going to matter. Tank Davis is not some big lightweight — he is, in fact, pretty small for the division — and Garcia not some feeble little 130 lber who couldn’t possibly fight well at 135. Anyone putting stock into the weight here is really overrating something that just doesn’t matter in this matchup. It will not be part of the deciding factor.
I think Garcia will make this look plenty competitive in the first third of the scheduled distance, maybe the first half, but part of that is just going to be Davis figuring out the right approach. When Tank does that and gets comfortable and confident, he should take over. Garcia may be able to last the distance; he’s a good, capable boxer with an extensive amateur background, far more experienced a fighter than his pro record alone indicates. But to do that he might have to get really negative, fighting more to not get stopped than to win.
I’ll go with a stoppage, which I think most will. Davis TKO-9
Gervonta Davis is the kind of fighter who sort of thrives with a little bit of chaos and controversy mixed-in. He surely hasn’t had a quiet time of it as he’s branching away from Mayweather Promotions a bit, but I think he’ll handle business here because he’s a much more dynamic fighter in terms of speed and skill. Hector Luis Garcia is going up against a level of talent here that I think it’s going to be too difficult to overcome, and I think that leads to him getting stopped after putting up a valiant effort. Davis TKO-8
Rectitude seldom runs as deep as a wallet pocket. Boxing is like every other sport, and every other business. Green paper makes for excellent earplugs to drown out criticism, and a beloved filler for the space where dignity ought to fit.
I’m a pragmatist, not a pearl-clutcher. My uncle was killed by a drunk driver, but I still have a drunk driver on my pound-for-pound list. I’ve seen boxing cripple people, and kill people. Not only do I keep watching, I actively proselytize for the sport. Living life means accepting compromises between ideals and practical reality, and usually I can take boxing on its own terms. But I’m still shocked this fight is going to happen less than two weeks after a domestic violence arrest for Tank Davis.
I have 51 weeks to make up a deficit, so I’ll pick this one from the heart. I hope Hector Garcia scores another huge upset. I hope Al Haymon and Stephen Espinoza and everyone else involved in allowing this fight to proceed all end up eating a great big bag of shit in the name of karmic justice. I hope whatever money they couldn’t sacrifice this weekend costs them every dollar they might have made on a Tank vs Ryan Garcia megafight. Garcia KO-1
Part of what makes Davis a compelling watch is that he doesn’t really dominate people bell-to-bell anymore. He closes the show as well as anyone, of course, but he’s had to work for each of his wins since putting Yuriorkis Gamboa out to pasture. Even with the ostensible weight difference, which may not be that significant considering that Garcia is almost four inches taller, I can’t imagine this is where he’ll get back to crushing people in three rounds. Garcia’s busier than Davis, an excellent body puncher, and proved unfazed by a serious speed disadvantage in his win over Chris Colbert.
But any analysis of a Davis fight has that “f**k you” power sitting dead center, drawing in and pulping any dissent like a gravity well. Davis just has so much raw force he can bring to bear and he’s not short on durability, either; even if Garcia does find a lot of success tattooing his midsection, which I fully expect him to, he’s going to be the one getting dented. I expect something similar to the Cruz fight, with Garcia starting hot before Davis finds his groove and starts landing enough rapid-fire bombs to swing the tide back in his favor. Davis on generally fair but slightly wide scores. Davis UD-12
Jaron Ennis vs Karen Chukhadzhian
- Scott: Ennis TKO-4
- Wil: Ennis TKO-3
- John: Ennis KO-5
- Patrick: Ennis TKO-5
Rashidi Ellis vs Roiman Villa
- Scott: Ellis UD-12
- Wil: Ellis UD-12
- John: Villa TKO-10
- Patrick: Ellis UD-12
Demetrius Andrade vs Demond Nicholson
- Scott: Andrade TKO-7
- Wil: Andrade UD-10
- John: Andrade TKO-4
- Patrick: Andrade TKO-2