Gervonta Davis stops Hugo Ruiz in the first round

Davis vs Ruiz

As ringwalks go, it was one of the more entertaining spectacles of recent years. Even if the main attraction looked slightly bemused by the whole thing as he sheepishly trotted out of the smoke, through a pack of dancing zombies, and into the ring. Gervonta Davis is all about putting on a show either side of the ropes.

Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather-looking resplendent in a pair of expensive red wellington boots- expects his young protege to match, possibly even exceed, his own ring achievements. Despite Gervonta’s undoubted talent, this was a case of Floyd hyping his fighter – in full promotional mode. At least “Money” briefly broke away from his standard script of talking about solid investments. Davis may well climb the ladder to somewhere near Floyd’s lofty heights, in and around the Pay-Per-View mix, if he can seek out the right dance partners going forward. The shadow of Lomachenko looms large over many of the top fighters in and around the Ukrainian’ weight class. Few have shown much willingness to step out into the light and meet the maestro head on.

Pay-Per-View nights are a couple of years away yet, but Davis has the ability to go far; all that needs to be added now is a consistent dedication to improve. Mayweather plans on having his man out again in May. Before that, a spurious Japanese exhibition match in April is reported to be wedged in for brand building purposes. On Saturday night in the Old Stub Hub, Davis managed to pack in a sizeable crowd, plus a cavalcade of celebrities was eagerly tweeting their appreciation and reinforcing a positive association with one of boxing’s brightest new stars.

Abner Mares may not have lasted much longer than replacement opponent Hugo Ruiz had he not been ruled out by persistent eye problems. Ruiz was touted as a former WBC champion, but that was down at super-bantamweight. Despite being a decent operator in his heyday, nobody expected the Mexican (who pocketed $100,000 for barely a round’s duress) to cause any significant issues. So it proved. Davis leapt into range almost immediately, and proceeded to move Ruiz -ranked #48 at the weight by BoxRec- around the ring. Davis’ heavy-handed assaults busted up Ruiz with lightning precision. Later the Mexican expressed surprise at just how hard Davis punched. Referee Jack Reiss wasn’t happy with the challenger’s lack of enthusiasm about continuing after a first-round knockdown. Reiss waved it off, Ruiz accepted his fate with no false vehemence, Davis improved to 21-0 (20 KOs).

If Yuriorkis Gamboa can boil down to the 130-pound weight class, he is being mentioned as a future Davis opponent. If Leo Santa Cruz or PBC stablemate Gary Russell Jr fancied a move-up in weight, then they could provide the kind of established names needed by Gervonta to further enhance his reputation.

On the undercard, Erickson Lubin forced Ishe Smith into expected retirement after three one-sided rounds of action.

Mario Barrios knocked out Richard Zamora in round four. Zamora at least swung from the fences, going down fighting.

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