Davis successfully defends his world lightweight title, stopping Romero in front of a record-breaking crowd at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
BROOKLYN, NY — Words were not said. They didn’t need to be. They stood toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose and you could feel the visceral, burning energy emanating in the cheap seats of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, when Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Rolando “Rolly” Romero touched gloves before their fight Saturday night.
Davis showed great patience and waited, and waited, and waited. Then the explosion came, when Tank adroitly disconnected Rolly and stopped him at 2:29 of the sixth round to retain the WBA lightweight championship in a Premier Boxing Event on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View before a record-sellout boxing attendance crowd of 18,970 at Barclays.
“I want to thank God, first for this victory, second, I want to thank Al Haymon, Mayweather Promotions, SHOWTIME, we did it again in New York City baby,” Davis said. “Thank you, New York City. I won my first belt here and it was great to come back to New York City and do it again.
“I was thinking as this interview was coming up and as much as I wanted to be cocky, but I want to thank Rolly. I want to thank his team. We settled it like men inside the ring. I wish him the best in the future.
“I knew it was all about selling the fight. I’m glad we didn’t fight the first time because I was so emotional. But I’m just grateful to be in this position and to be able to come out with the win.
Romero started pecking with the jab, while Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) sat back and patiently waited. With 1:53 left in the first, Davis did touch Romero with a left, though had nothing behind it.
Romero (14-1, 12 KOs) ended the first with a right to Davis’ jaw, and Tank felt compelled to follow Rolly back to his corner to let him know he didn’t hurt him.
Romero stung Davis with a left in the second, and it looked like he hurt Davis. Tank replied with less than a minute left in the round with a straight left to the face, which caught Romero’s attention.
“He was strong for sure but it was a couple shots that I was getting warmed up and he caught me and I was like, ‘I can’t sit with him just yet.’ I know when to take it to my opponents and when to chill out. There was someone in the crowd and they were telling me to press forward and I was like, not yet. I got to loosen him up a little more.”
In the third, Romero flung a left hook which connected, and he landed a right to the body, which Davis replied with a left to the head.
By the fourth, Romero continued to be the stalker, willing to come forward. With 1:08 left in the round, he landed a straight right on Davis, who when he came forward appeared to be more effective than backing up.
In the fifth, Davis stopped giving ground. He kept creeping up on Romero, and with 2:00 left in the round landed a straight left. With 1:07 left in the fifth, it looked like Davis may have hurt his left hand. He dropped his left hand suddenly and seemed to curse. But later in the round, he was throwing the left again.
With :37 left in the sixth, Romero came forward, being the aggressor, and may have been too aggressive. He threw a right that missed, Davis sidestepped him and nailed him with a counter left to the jaw as he came forward.
Romero did not know what hit him.
He crumbled through the ropes and got up late in referee David Fields’ count. But when Romero looked unstable, Fields raised his arms and waved it over at 2:29 of the sixth.
“The crazy thing is that I didn’t even throw it that hard,” Davis said. “He just ran into it. He just ran into it. Something like when Pacquiao got caught. I didn’t even throw it that hard and he’s the one who ran into it, when he was talking that it was going to be me.
“I knew that I could get into his head, just from when we weighed in. I knew his goal was to move in front of me (on stage during the weigh in), so when he went in front of me, he didn’t realize that the stand was coming to an end so I just tapped him and he fell.”
FIGHT'S OVER @Laraboxing stops O'Sullivan in round 8 to retain his WBA middleweight title #LaraOSullivan #DavisRomero pic.twitter.com/0c8u5KasrI— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 29, 2022
Erislandy Lara eats up Gary O’Sullivan in eight
Erislandy Lara couldn’t help himself. Gary "Spike" O’Sullivan posed a beautiful target, coming at the crafty Cuban expatriate southpaw on a straight line and staying right in front of him.
It was too enticing to not fire one straight left after another—and connect.
It’s exactly what Lara did, knocking down O’Sullivan in the fourth and stopping him at :23 of the eighth round.
Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) was absolutely superior, and O’Sullivan made it all the easier by being there to hit.
“This new style that I’m demonstrating is for all the boxers to show them how I can fight now, just being able to change up,” Lara said. “He was a tough boxer, too.
“I’m a smart boxer, a slick boxer, that’s what I did tonight. I wait until he attacks and then I do what I have to do to win the fight.”
By the third, O’Sullivan’s face was beet red. Lara blasted O’Sullivan with a sweeping left in the fourth that knocked him down. Lara grabbed the opening after O’Sullivan (31-5, 21 KOs) missed with a right.
The punch knocked O’Sullivan head over feet. He didn’t seem hurt by the punch, more caught off balance by it.
It didn’t change much.
With :20 left in the sixth, Lara nailed O’Sullivan with a straight left once more.
In the final seconds of the seventh, Lara connected with the same punch to O’Sullivan’s face, this time sending him reeling back into the ropes.
It didn’t long for Lara to smell blood and finish him.
With 2:40 left in the eight, Lara staggered O’Sullivan with another straight left to the face and O’Sullivan staggered to the ropes again in distress. Lara followed and referee Benjy Esteves quickly intercepted him, ending it at :23 of the eighth round.
“I saw the opening, he was leaving himself open and that’s when the left came in and knocked him down,” Lara said. “I saw in the eighth round he didn’t have any more power and that’s when I stepped up and showed my power.
“I want to thank the fans that came to Brooklyn, Al Haymon and Luis De Cubas Jr. for setting up the big fights that I want to have for me. I’m still a force.”
.@ramos_jesus9 working the jab in round 4 #RamosSantamaria | #DavisRomeroz: https://t.co/uM8jC9IEA2 pic.twitter.com/bWOHzgGNcH— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 29, 2022
Jesus Ramos gets his family payback on Luke Santamaria
Nothing like a little revenge to sweeten a nice Memorial Weekend night. It’s what southpaw super welterweight Jesus Ramos was able to exact on Luke Santamaria, who beat Abel Ramos, Jesus’ uncle, by unanimous decision in his last fight in February.
Using his considerable range and long jab, Ramos was able to keep a sound distance and attack when he saw openings to cruise to a rather easy 10-round unanimous decision over Santamaria (13-3-1, 7 KOs).
“Yes of course (it was important to avenge the loss of my uncle),” Ramos said. “It wasn’t the way we wanted to win, but I think it takes two to tango and tonight I was the one who wanted to fight. I’m not really satisfied. I could have done a lot better but like I said, it takes two to tango and tonight Santamaria didn’t want to fight.”
Ramos (19-0, 15 KOs) never hurt Santamaria, and Santamaria was really never able to penetrate Ramos’ formidable defense.
“I could have pressed a little more, gone to the body a little more, he was kind of slippery in there,” Ramos said. “I didn’t want to risk anything because he would counter so I was trying to stay composed and stay at my distance. I’m going to go back and watch the fight and grow. I went 10 rounds again and it’s going to help me mature a lot more.”
There was no doubt when judges’ scores were read, with Mark Consentino scoring it 98-92 and Ken Ezzo and Steve Weisfeld were in agreement at 97-93.
Santamaria saw a different fight.
“I thought it was closer than that,” he said. “I thought we got the win. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way. I moved up in weight. I thought he was going to be stronger than that. I thought we did enough to win the fight.
“The plan was to counter and slip his shots. I thought it was good enough to get the win but what happened happened and we can’t complain. The plan was to box him and to get him tired and it was working. I thought it worked.”
It was a dominant performance by Ramos, who put his business suit on and stayed in a safe zone.
“I could improve on cutting off the ring a little and going to the body a little bit more,” Ramos said. “He was headbutting me and fighting a little dirty in there, so I didn't want to get too careless. I want whoever they want to put in front of me. We're going to keep going forward and take whatever fight my team thinks is best for me.”
Eduardo Ramirez finishes strong to take a majority decision over Luis Melendez
Southpaw super featherweight Eduardo Ramirez (27-2-3, 12 KOs) moved his winning streak up to five-straight victories and in the process ended the 15-fight win streak of Luis Melendez (17-2, 13 KOs) with a 10-round majority decision victory.
“The first few rounds were even, but after that he only had his jab,” Ramirez said. “I was able to hurt him. He tried to win going backwards and that's no way to win. I want to fight for the world title next. I'm ready for any of the top fighters. I don't shy away from tough challenges.”
Ramirez placed a lot of pressure on Melendez, who only went 10 rounds for the second time in his career.
Scores from judges Bernard Bruni (96-94) and John Poturaj (98-92) overruled John McKaie’s 95-95 score.
“I felt I won the fight,” Melendez said. “It’s part of the game. You just have to go back and keep training and just come back better. It felt great to hear the crowd cheering for me. It’s more of a Gervonta (Davis) crowd, but they showed me love. It just comes with the territory. The judges didn’t think it was for me this time. It is what it is.”
Ramirez finished very strong. He had a very good seventh, followed by a good eighth, behind straight lefts and applying constant heat on the tiring Melendez. Ramirez closed the 10th by staggering Melendez with a left hook.
“The last scorecard when they said it, I felt I won, without a doubt,” Melendez said. “My people know I won, the crowd knows I won, it definitely hurts when you travel here and you expect to win and it’s my first pay-per-view. Everybody at home was watching me. It is what it is. I just have to go back to the drawing board and get better. I’m still young. I felt I landed the crisper punches and out-boxed him. He never hurt me. Never.”
On the undercard, in an upset, lightweight Haitian Jaica Pavilus (3-5-1, 1 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Mia Ellis (4-1, 3 KOs). Super welterweight Luis Arias (20-3-1, 9 KOs) won a 10-round unanimous decision over Jimmy Williams (18-8-2, 6 KOs) in a spirited brawl.
Welterweight Jalil Hackett (4-0, 3 KOs) stopped previously undefeated Jose Belloso (4-1, 4 KOs) at 2:20 in the second round of a scheduled six-rounder. Super lightweight Adrian Benton (7-0, 4 KOs) won a six-round unanimous decision over Jose Antonio Meza (8-7, 2 KOs). Welterweight Arnold Gonzalez (10-0, 5 KOs) remained undefeated with a six-round split-decision victory Tracey McGruder (6-3, 4 KOs) in the first fight of the night.
For a closer look at Davis vs Romero, check out our fight night page.