CARSON, CA– Last-minute replacements can be dangerous propositions for the A-side fighter. This time it was the exact opposite as WBA super featherweight title-holder Gervonta Davis took less than a minute to break Hugo Ruiz’s nose, floor him and earn a first-round TKO at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The physical strength and punching power differential were pronounced as Ruiz’s broken nose began leaking blood in the final minute. Once pinned on the ropes, Ruiz took a knee after absorbing a southpaw jab-straight left-right hook combination.
The final shot took all the fight out of him. Ruiz rose and shook his head at referee Jack Reiss, who called the fight with one second left in the first.
The win improves Davis’s record to 21-0 (20 KOs), extending a 12-fight, five-year knockout streak.
Can’t give Tank too much flack for the opponent since Abner Mares was injured. If Mares’s eye injury isn’t career-ending, he likely extended his career another year or two by not taking the punishment Davis would’ve dished out.
I’m looking at 2019 as a comeback year for Tank. Promotional issues made his one-fight 2018 disappointing despite picking up a world title. He’s not in a division where he can get away with doing a PBC round robin as the majority of the top fighters are with Golden Boy/DAZN (Tevin Farmer, Ryan Garcia) or a smaller promotion like Zanfer (Miguel Berchelt).
The Farmer fight is my pick as it’s a unification of the WBA/IBF titles, and we have an established bad blood scenario. If that can’t happen, newly crowned WBA champ Andrew Cancio, who knocked out Albert Machado in four founds last night, would make sense. If you’re confused, Tank holds the “WBA Super” title and Cancio holds the “regular” world belt (please, don’t ask me to explain WBA logic further).