At long last, Davis-Garcia is signed, sealed and delivered for April 22
Showtime PPV event will match two of boxing's biggest stars in a long-awaited showdown in Las Vegas
A note to Fight Freaks Unite readers: I created Fight Freaks Unite in January 2021 and eight months later it also became available for paid subscriptions for additional content — and as a way to help keep this newsletter going and for readers to support independent journalism. If you haven’t upgraded to a paid subscription please consider it. If you have already, I truly appreciate it! Also, consider a gift subscription for the Fight Freak in your life.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Ryan Garcia, two of boxing’s biggest stars, finally have a done deal to meet on April 22 in one of the biggest bouts the sport can deliver.
The two fighters posted to their social media that the fight was finalized and three additional sources, all directly involved in the event, confirmed to Fight Freaks Unite that the necessary paperwork was signed on Friday.
It was the end of a months-long will they or won’t they drama, false announcements of the fight being set as far back as November, and issues every step of the way between rivals who rarely do business with each other — Davis’ team of Premier Boxing Champions, TGB Promotions and Showtime and Garcia’s team of Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.
The 12-round nontitle bout at a contract weight of 136 pounds — one over the lightweight limit — will headline a Showtime PPV card at a venue to be announced in Las Vegas.
All along the date of the fight was slated to be April 15 but was moved to April 22, which was one of the late hurdles that had to be dealt with.
Both sides wanted a two-month promotional window but time was running short and Golden Boy and DAZN were in a financial dispute that was one of the reasons things dragged on, one of the sources told Fight Freaks Unite.
That took time to resolve and led to moving the date one week later to preserve an eight-week promotional window. But the new date could not be locked in immediately because Showtime had to first make some changes to its network schedule, something that figured to be ironed out and on Monday was termed by one source as “a hiccup” to finalizing the deal.
The date was critical because last week, just as his criminal trial was to begin in his hometown of Baltimore, Davis pleaded guilty to four counts related to a hit-and-run accident he was involved in in November 2020. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 5 and faces a likely jail term, meaning if the fight with Garcia was going to happen it had to take place before the end of April.
Now the fight is on and it is one fans have anticipated for more than a year, since Garcia started to beat the drums for the showdown.
Besides Davis’ legal situation and the nonstop contract battles, he also had to come through an interim fight on Jan. 7, which he did by knocking out Hector Luis Garcia in the ninth round to retain the WBA “regular” lightweight title at a sold-out Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., in a Showtime PPV main event.
Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs), 24, of Los Angeles, was also going to fight later in January but opted to skip a tune-up bout with former lightweight title challenger Mercito Gesta and wait for the big fight with Davis (28-0, 26 KOs), 28, in April.
Among the various issues the sides battled over was which outlet would be the broadcaster. Golden Boy and DAZN gave in and Showtime will produce the event, although DAZN will be one of the platforms on which consumers can purchase the pay-per-view.
Another issue that took time to work through was related to the language of a rematch clause. According to sources, Davis has the right to an immediate rematch if he loses (Garcia doesn’t) and Showtime and PBC also wanted their side to spearhead a potential sequel. Golden Boy and DAZN viewed that as a deal-breaker and ultimately it was agreed that they would control a possible rematch.
Another issue that arose between the broadcasters related to contract language related to dealing with potential piracy of the pay-per-view signal.
Davis photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Please upgrade your subscription here: https://danrafael.substack.com/subscribe
Thank you so much for your support of Fight Freaks Unite!
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danrafael1/
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanRafael1
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanRafaelBoxing
Yes fair play to both men, if only 2 certain welterweights could do the same.
I agree about dan the best,good on Garcia he pushed hard for the fight and made Oscar pull his finger out and get it done or he would of walked,Stuart it will a great fight as you said while it lasts