Undefeated five-time world champion and boxing superstar Gervonta “Tank” Davis went face to face with unbeaten world champion Héctor Luis García at a press conference on Monday before they meet for Davis’ WBA Lightweight Title on Saturday, January 7 headlining a SHOWTIME PPV from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Davis has established himself as one of boxing’s hottest, must-see attractions, capturing five world titles through three divisions, and will need to dispatch the dangerous and streaking Héctor Luis García to pave the way for the recently announced blockbuster clash against unbeaten star Ryan Garcia in the spring of 2023.
Monday’s press conference also featured fighters who will be competing on the pay-per-view undercard telecast beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. In attendance Monday was unbeaten rising star Jaron “Boots” Ennis, who faces IBF No.4-rated welterweight Karen Chukhadzhian for the Interim IBF Welterweight Title, unbeaten welterweight contender Rashidi Ellis, who duels the hard-hitting Roiman Villa in a 12-round fight, and undefeated two-division world champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade and Laurel, Maryland-native Demond Nicholson, who clash in a 10-round super middleweight fight opening the pay-per-view.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by GTD Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com and capitalonearena.com. The Ennis vs. Chukhadzhian bout is promoted in association with D&D Boxing.
Here is what the fighters had to say Monday from The Hotel Washington:
“This is another event that we’re excited for. I’ve been working hard and I appreciate everybody that’s come out today. This is a stacked undercard, it almost feels like I’m back in the amateurs with all these great fighters.
“We’re gonna go back into training camp right after today because we’re not sleeping on this guy. I know we have two fights lined up, but I’m only focused on this one. I’m ready to go through everybody that’s in my way.
“This is really important for me. It’s huge to open up the opportunity for other fighters to showcase their skills on the big stage. When you make your mark in the sport, it’s about coming back and showing other people that it can happen for them.
“This is just me trying to get over that hump. I don’t think of it as a dream come true. I’m not where I want to be yet. This fight is the next step.
“It feels good to be back home. All the greats have fought here and now I get to come back home and put on a great event. I love getting everyone together to have a party. That’s what it is. We grind in the gym and a lot of people don’t see that, so when the big event comes, it’s time to show up.
“I’m just ready to shut everyone up. All the talking that’s going around, I just want to go in the ring and shut them all up.
“I’ve always been the guy who stays focused and knows that whoever is in front of me is a threat. We know that Garcia is coming. I’m watching him a lot. I know what they’re doing day in and day out.
“There are a lot of young fighters coming behind me and I just want to be able to give them the platform that they deserve.”
HECTOR LUIS GARCIA
“I’m very happy to be here in this position. I’ve worked extremely hard to make this my year. I’m going to make this a great show for the boxing fans and the Dominican Republic. My team is going to have me ready for this fight on January 7.
“I’m not fazed by anything people say. I know who I am and I know what to do. My preparation has been so good that I’m going to be ready to give 100%.
“I know that I have the height advantage, but I can adapt myself to the rhythm of my opponent. I know that I’m facing one of the best fighters out there, but I’m fully confident I have what it takes to win.
“I’m taking my normal approach to this fight. I’m a great fighter too and I have Olympic experience. We have no reason to change our preparation for this fight.
“If I beat ‘Tank’ on January 7, I’d be happy to go after a fight against Ryan Garcia. I don’t think he’s on the same level as me and Gervonta.
“I feel at home here. I’m sure that I’m going to get a lot of support for myself. Most importantly I’ll have my family here having my back.
“We’re coming to make this a battle. Whether it’s toe-to-toe or he wants to move and box, me and my trainer are ready. We trust each other and that goes a long way in fights like these.
“I want to make my name in this sport and make it last a lot longer after I’m around. I’m taking it one fight at a time, but I have big goals that I’m looking to reach.”
“Fighting on this card is everything. It’s my first time on pay-per-view and it’s a big moment for me. Philly isn’t too far down the road, so it’s basically going to be like fighting at home.
“It means a lot to put Philly on my back. You have to be a certain type of fighter to be a Philly fighter. We always find a way to win and that’s me.
“I definitely feel like I already should have had my world title shot. I’ve been calling out the champions for years. I’ve been ready and they’re just making it worse for themselves by making me wait longer.
“I love fighting in D.C. It’s going to be a beautiful night and an explosive fight. I’m coming for the knockout and I’m coming to do it in spectacular fashion.
“I’m not too familiar with my opponent, but I’m sure he’s a great fighter. He’ll bring that European style and try to make it hard for me, but I’m going to put on a show and get the knockout.
“I’m talented and strong. I work hard and do everything I’m supposed to do. I’m always one step ahead of these guys.
“Eventually the champions are going to have no choice but to fight me. If it’s not the champions next, then I’ll take a Keith Thurman or a Yordenis Ugas fight in a heartbeat.
“We prepare for everything, not just one way of fighting. We have some European guys in our camp so that I can prepare for that style. It’s not going to be anything new to me.”
“I’m excited to be back. I hear I’m facing a tough fighter, so I’m just motivated to be back in a tough fight.
“I’m just happy to be back and kick some ass on January 7. Now I get to showcase my talent and be more active. The more active I am, the better Rashidi Ellis that you’re going to see.
“I’m just training hard and getting ready for a big fight. I’m like a kid going to the park when it’s time to fight.
“The goal is to take over the division in 2023. It starts with this fight. I just have to be ready for my opponent, because I’m sure he’s going to be extremely motivated, just like I am.
“We were frustrated with some of the time off, but we just kept training and doing what we had to do.
“This is going to be a great show from top to bottom. Being on pay-per-view, it’s a great opportunity to show off my talent.
“I just can’t wait to fight. I know that my time is coming. I just have to take it one fight at a time and display my talent.
“My great boxing ability, my IQ and my speed is going to let me pick my opponent apart.”
“I’m feeling good. This is a new journey. I’m looking to become a three-division champion. I’m thankful to have this opportunity to showcase my skill and talent on this beautiful card.
“At the end of the day, nothing guarantees a Canelo Alvarez fight. Right now I’m looking at Caleb Plant, David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo. I want all those big names.
“SHOWTIME is a great place to be. I’ve had my journey through my boxing career and now I’m writing my own chapter. January 7 is an opportunity to do what I do best.
“There are a lot of great fights that can be made at 168 pounds and I’m looking to make them. This is a great position right now for me to make those fights.
“My experience and my amateur pedigree will be the difference. My IQ, my talent and my skill overall are going to be huge for me.
“I’m ready to tangle. We both said yes to the fight, and may the best man win. At the end of the day we’re both going to bring our best to the table.
“I’m looking to show that I’m the best. Let’s make this happen. There’s no more excuses. This fight is a stepping stone toward making those things happen and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
“I did my thing at 154 and 160 and now I want to move on to this journey at super middleweight and make it happen.”
“This is probably the biggest fight of my career, so I’m just looking forward to seeing Andrade in that ring. It’s going to be a hell of a fight.
“I have to take advantage of his age. I’ve got the advantage with youth and I have to use that to help me in this fight.
“My home is 15 minutes away from here, so the support I’m going to receive is going to be drastic. It’s going to be full of my friends and family. It’s time to put on a show and really get my name in the books. This is really my chance.
“I’m 100% healthy right now. It’s time to really go full-fledged forward. I’m feeling great right now.
“This fight with Andrade is bigger than Benavidez if you look at it from boxing and skills wise. For me this is like fighting Canelo. It’s a big fight.
“For me it’s about working smarter and believing in myself and my team. I just have to go out there and do what I do best.”
CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer
“This fight is important to us. We’re trying to take the hardest fights. Hector is coming to fight. He’s had two impressive wins and is a real world champion. This is a fight that we asked for. I always say that the road to success is through D.C., and now we’re here.
“We can’t sleep on Garcia. He’s got a great team and we’re going to be up for the task. Gervonta is going to make everyone remember him. We don’t talk, we just show y’all.
“The only thing on my mind is Hector Luis Garcia. He’s bringing a lot to the table. People know he’s the real deal. Hector is standing in front of us. We have so much pain and we need to release it before we go to the next level.
“They don’t want to give him his props, but that’s good. We’re from the mud and we know how to play in the mud.
“Gervonta is coming into the man that we’ve been training for years. We understand that this fight is the main fight toward the other fight. I’m talking to a grown man now. I’ve been with him for so many years, and it’s so amazing to see him go from a kid to a grown man.”
BOB SANTOS, Garcia’s Trainer
“We’re really thrilled to go against pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in the world. We’re excited about the opportunity.
“We haven’t done anything different than what we’ve done in the past. Everyone should really tune into this fight, because it’s going to be an all-time classic. At this point, Gervonta is the best 135-pounder in the world.
“This fight reminds me of Joel Casamayor vs. Diego Corrales and I’m expecting that kind of performance. I know that these fighters are going to bring the best out of each other.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“2022 has been an exciting year for SHOWTIME BOXING. As strong a year as it was, I think 2023 will be bigger and better. There’s no better way to kick off the year than with Gervonta Davis, the hottest young star in the sport.
“There’s one fighter at lightweight who stands out above all others, and that’s Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. He’s sold out arenas in Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City, and I’m sure we’ll be adding Washington D.C. to the list shortly. There is no other fighter doing what Gervonta is doing.
“Few fighters have made such a big impact in such a short amount of time as Hector Luis Garcia has in 2022. Garcia pulled off a huge upset over Chris Colbert, with a dominating performance. Then he followed it up with another dominating performance to win the title. Few fighters have had a better year than him. He’s big, he’s tough and he has a strong amateur background. Above all, he’s not intimidated by anyone.
“January 7 is a card stacked with top names in meaningful fights. All of these fighters on one card is going to be a late Christmas present to the fans. In my mind, this is as strong of a pay-per-view card as we’ve had in recent memory.
“This is a great fight town and I know that they will be supporting this event. This will be the biggest fight night in the city since Mike Tyson fought here 15 years ago, and you cannot miss it. We’ll see you on January 7.”