Photo credits: Lester Silva 📸
Brooklyn, N.Y. Undefeated 130-pound Floyd Mayweather protégé Gervonta Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) dethroned defending IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12 KOs) with an impressive seventh round TKO (2:36) in the opening bout of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
Davis was supremely accurate from the opening bell, landing an astounding 48 percent of his power punches and 40 percent of his total shots. Davis won his first title at just 22 years of age, similar to his mentor Mayweather, who picked up his first belt in the same weight class when he was 21.
Pedraza was making the third defense of his belt, but didn’t come out with his traditional “Sniper” game plan of fighting at range and picking apart his opponent. Davis gained confidence as he connected on the inside, landing at an impressive clip and preventing his Puerto Rican opponent from landing with effective lateral and head movement.
The Baltimore native hurt Pedraza with a huge left hook to the body in the opening moments of the sixth round, forcing Pedraza to guard his right side while eating repeated combinations with no answer for the onslaught. Davis landed more than 50 percent of his power shots in the sixth and Pedraza never really recovered. He was floored in the seventh round by a big right hook, falling to the canvas for the first time in his career. Pedraza got up, but referee Ricky Gonzalez sensed Pedraza was defeated and immediately halted the contest.
Post Fight Interviews:
“It felt great to go in there in front of my fans and take boxing more seriously. I want to thank Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe, Al Haymon, my hometown support and my team.
“It means a lot [to win this world title]. I put in hard work. My team put in hard work. We came out on top. I have a great promoter and a great boxer backing me and it felt great.
“I had experience. I told you all that. In this camp I studied Pretty Boy Floyd. Just to stay composed. He caught me with a lot of good shots. I took it and I dished it back out. That’s how you know I’m a real dog.”
“For this training camp, I didn’t want to be around him. I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted him to focus so he could out there and be the best and that’s what he did tonight. Is this the future of boxing? Absa-f***-lutely.”
“I am okay. My strategy was to fight him from a distance and try to fight him inside to lose some of the power and it didn’t work that way.
“At the end, I was trying to put on too much pressure and it didn’t work.
“There was a moment that I adjusted to the game plan and something was telling me to come out and fight him and it didn’t work.
“There is no excuse, I was at 135 and coming down to accept the fight wasn’t the right move.”
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