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Gervonta Davis knocks out Hugo Ruiz to retain junior lightweight title

Gervonta Davis knocks out Hugo Ruiz to retain junior lightweight title



Junior lightweight world titlist Gervonta "Tank" Davis didn't get to add the big name to his record that he had hoped to, but he nonetheless took care of business and did so in violent fashion in the first round against late replacement Hugo Ruiz on Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

Davis, a Floyd Mayweather protégé, was supposed to make the first defense of his second 130-pound title reign against popular three-division world titlist Abner Mares on his turf in Southern California, but Mares withdrew from the fight last week after suffering a detached retina in his right eye during a sparring session and then had surgery.

Ruiz, a former junior featherweight world titleholder who had just won a lopsided decision in a featherweight bout on Jan. 19 on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner undercard, quickly accepted an offer to fill in and moved up another weight division with the promise to give Davis a serious fight in the Showtime-televised main event.


In a video, former junior welterweight and welterweight world titleholder Marcos Maidana said he plans to come out of retirement to fight as a welterweight. Maidana plans to fight this summer, with the goal of having a major fight in the fall.

Ruiz didn't come close to doing so, as Davis -- a fast southpaw with explosive power -- walked to the ring to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and then walked through Ruiz with ease before a crowd of 8,048.

"I just wanted to put on a great performance," Davis said. "I was scheduled to fight Abner Mares, but he had an injury, so my main goal was to make a great performance, which I did."

Although the 5-foot-9 Ruiz held a 3½-inch height advantage over Davis, he was no match for Davis' speed and power. Davis (21-0, 20 KOs), 24, of Baltimore, took it to Ruiz late in the opening round and drove him to the corner with a straight left hand.

With Mayweather watching at ringside, Davis followed up with a three-punch combination -- right, left and a right hook that slammed into Ruiz's face. Ruiz took a step back and dropped to a knee. With blood streaming from his nose, Ruiz (39-5, 33 KOs), 32, of Mexico, rose at the count of eight; but referee Jack Reiss, after taking a good look at Ruiz, waved the fight off at 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

"I knew it was coming," said Davis, who earned $1 million to Ruiz's $100,000. "When I touched him with the jab, I saw his arm was in front of his face, so if I threw a hook or uppercut, it was right in line."





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