Hector Luis Garcia didn’t truly believe he would get the opportunity to challenge Gervonta Davis on January 7 until Friday morning.
That’s when the WBA 130-pound champion signed his contract to face Davis in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event that night at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. As appreciative as the undefeated Dominican southpaw is to have secured this life-changing chance, Garcia cannot help but feel that Davis has underestimated him.
Davis did, after all, announce a higher-profile fight against another unbeaten Garcia the day before the Baltimore-bred knockout artist revealed that he’ll first face Hector Luis Garcia.
“Tank thinks this is an easy fight, but I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com. “He has already got the other fight lined up [with Ryan Garcia]. It’s the same as with [Chris] Colbert. He’s overlooking me.”
The 28-year-old Davis and 24-year-old Ryan Garcia jointly announced Thursday that these rivals reached an agreement for a long-discussed pay-per-view showdown, one of the most marketable bouts in boxing.
They plan to square off on an undetermined date sometime in the spring in Las Vegas, but Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) must first defeat Hector Luis Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs, 3 NC) in a 12-round bout that will mark Garcia’s debut at the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. Ryan Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs), of Victorville, California, also will need to win his own interim bout against an undetermined opponent, which likely will take place sometime later in January, to ensure that he and Davis finally fight.
“I’m looking forward to this fight,” Hector Luis Garcia said. “I know that Tank is at the top. I’ve been really motivated, but it does give me a little extra motivation because I wanna show that I’m the top dog. For sure, I wanna show that I’m the better Garcia. I’m the one that’s gonna be on top.”
The previously unbeaten Colbert was a 22-1 favorite February 26, but the then-unknown Garcia dominated him on his way to winning a 12-round unanimous decision in their WBA elimination match at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Garcia dropped Brooklyn’s Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) in the seventh round and won by wide distances of 119-108, 118-109 and 118-109 to solidify his shot at the WBA super featherweight title.
Colbert was initially scheduled to challenge Gutierrez for the WBA 130-pound championship that night, but Gutierrez contracted COVID-19 while training. Garcia stepped in for Gutierrez on less than three weeks’ notice.
The 31-year-old Garcia beat Venezuela’s Gutierrez by similar scores (118-110, 117-111, 117-111) to win his WBA belt on August 20 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Though the challenger, Garcia was a 3-1 favorite against Gutierrez (26-4-1, 20 KOs) based on his impressive victory over Colbert.
While confident, Garcia recognizes that he is viewed as an underdog again against a powerful southpaw who is commonly considered one of the most talented boxers in the sport.
“Tank, for sure, is a step above Colbert,” Garcia said. “That’s why I’m even more motivated to beat him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.