Gervonta Davis kept up his impressive knockout ratio with a last gasp stoppage of Yuriorkis Gamboa after a dominant performance in Atlanta, Georgia.
The undefeated two-time super featherweight world champion (23-0, 22 KOs) successfully moved up to 135 pounds and won the WBA ‘Regular’ Lightweight Title with a 12th round knockout of former unified champion Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs).
Davis claims a Saturday night victory live on SHOWTIME in front of 14,129 fans from the award-winning State Farm Arena.
Baltimore’s Davis further cemented his status as one of boxing’s most must-watch attractions. He delivered knockdowns in rounds two and eight before delivering the final blow in round 12.
Davis’ trademark left-hand was on display all night, causing all three knockdowns including a devastating uppercut in the final round that closed the show in style. Davis brought the fans in a raucous State Farm arena to their feet.
The power-punching southpaw landed on 48 percent of his power punches and established overall leads of 120-78 in overall punches, 27-9 in jabs and 93-69 in power. Davis’ excellent defense was also on display as Gamboa was only able to connect on 13 percent of his punches, including just 3 percent of his jabs.
The 38-year-old Gamboa, who was severely hampered early on by what he believes to be a ruptured Achilles tendon that occurred just before the second-round knockdown.
Gamboa showed tremendous heart and resilience to survive what looked like multiple knockout blows from the 25-year-old Davis.
“Coming into this fight I knew Gamboa was a tough opponent,” said Davis, who went past the ninth round for the first time in his career. “I knew he was a vet.
“As you see in the ring, I was catching and hurting him but he was still there. I knew he was better than anyone I had fought before.
“I was mainly focused on catching him with clean shots. So I was catching him with clean shots and wasn’t hurting him. I knew I was in for rounds tonight.”
When asked by SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray to grade his own performance, Davis replied with “C-plus.”
“It was a great experience. I’m only 25 years old. I’m learning each and every day. 2020 will be a big year. I feel comfortable at both weights. I feel I could fight at 130 or 135. I’m the top dog. Bring ‘em on.”
“I feel OK. But I think I ruptured my Achilles tendon before I fell in the second round,” said Gamboa. “I’m a warrior and I kept going. But as soon as I felt it I knew it was ruptured.
“I couldn’t put pressure on it but I wanted to keep going. I told my corner it was a problem but I wanted to keep going because I’m a warrior. I’m going to keep going. 135 is my weight. I want to stay there.”
Preceding the telecast, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN featured two ShoBox: The New Generation alums recording impressive wins in undercard attractions streamed live on the SHOWTIME Sports social platforms.
Malik Hawkins (18-0, 11 KOs), a rising super lightweight prospect out of Baltimore, defeated previously unbeaten Darwin Price (16-1, 9 KOs) via fifth-round TKO.
Both fighters showed glimpses of their potential throughout the five rounds before Price suffered a right knee injury and was unable to continue.
The 30-year-old Price pulled up limping after taking an awkward step, and Hawkins closed in on him looking for the finish. After referee Brian Stutts broke the action up, Price informed Stutts he was unable to continue, handing Hawkins the win.
The opening streaming bout saw undefeated prospect Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) stop Cesar Juarez (25-8, 19 KOs) to pick up the most impressive win of his career. He put himself in a position to fight for a world title in the near future.
In the IBF 122-pound Title Eliminator, Leo knocked down Juarez three separate times before picking up the TKO victory at 1:12 of round number 11.
The finishing blow was a vicious right hand and while Juarez beat the count, referee Jim Korb waved the fight off.
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.