Please, click here to learn Part One. Saturday, July 27 (ongoing): Self-belief can be an underdog’s most powerful weapon and WBA junior-light-weight mandatory challenger Ricardo “El Cientifico” Nunez acquired it in abundance. “I do not have any concern with Gervonta Davis,” Nunez told The Ring’s Anson Wainwright through promoter Rogelio Espino previously this week. “I respect him but I’m doing the best training camp of my career because the fight is within his hometown and I really do not want the judges to have to work.
Perhaps that’s because nine of Nunez’s last 10 victories got coming by knockout and his fifth-round stoppage of Yogli Herrera in July 2017 saw him average an ungodly 123.6 punches per round. The work rate of a fighter nicknamed “The Scientist Barely,” would you agree? However as formidable as self-belief can be for a challenger, the joy a champ derives from defending his name in his hometown is even more so.
That joy was written all over Davis’ face as he soaked in the ear-splitting support of a sell-out audience of 14,686 fans inside the Royal Farms Arena. It really is a picture about which all fighters wish but, if Davis’ expression was a sin, the reality surpassed his dreamed script. After the opening bell sounded, however, Davis proceeded to turn his fulfilled dream into Nunez’s nightmare. Gervonta Davis (right) vs.
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Both showed professional poise amid the highly-charged environment; Davis kept his cool even after his connects drew substantial cheers while the challenger preserved his calm as he tried to solve the southpaw puzzle that was in front of him. Through the bout, the person called “Tank” prepared his work, worked well his plan, and finally cashed in with the sensational finish his audience expected him to provide.
With 1:40 staying in round two, the fighters dropped into a clinch. Nunez, expecting a rest from close by referee Harvey Dock, calm his body and waited for the official to move in. “I saw (Nunez) get strike with several big shots and I decided to stop it,” Dock said in Joe Santoliquito’s fight report.
I thought Nunez was defenseless at that point – and he was. Tank punched him and he continued to come. Even though stoppage was considered early by some, I was properly fine with it – even without the backdrop of the fatalities of Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan. In the secs before Dock’s move Nunez showed definitive indicators of duress – his hip and legs and chest muscles buckling and his mind snapping from multiple perspectives. Therefore I interpreted Dock’s involvement as one made to prevent the further destruction that would have designed for excellent highlight reels but also might have adversely affected Nunez’s future.
Dock needed to walk a fine range – a line illustrated by the divided opinions regarding the timing of the stoppage – but that split meant there was at least some justification for this. If lightning-quick stoppages preceded with indications of duress are OK in mixed-martial arts – and there – then I believe actions such as Dock should be acceptable so long as the italicized caveat is also present.
Davis’ blowtorch surface finish rendered the ultimate CompuBox numbers moot but those amounts were pretty competitive as Davis led 21-17 overall, 6-4 jabs and 15-13 powers while also posting narrow accuracy gaps of 24%-22% overall, 12%-11% jabs, and 39%-31% power. A informing stat: Davis landed 45% of his power shots in circular two (9 of 20) and he appeared in line to land even more.