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GERVONTA DAVIS KNOCKS OUT FRANK MARTIN IN 8; DAVID BENAVIDEZ DOMINATES OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK

By Press Release | June 16, 2024
GERVONTA DAVIS KNOCKS OUT FRANK MARTIN IN 8; DAVID BENAVIDEZ DOMINATES OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK

Gervonta “Tank” Davis may not only be the face of boxing, he might also be the world’s best fighter. Davis delivered yet another viral moment, successfully defending his WBA Lightweight World Title by knocking out the previously unbeaten Frank “The Ghost” Martin with a vicious left hand at 1:29 of the eighth round in the PBC Pay-Per-View main event on Prime Video Saturday night, which marked the 100th championship fight night at the historic MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Fighting in his first world title bout, Martin delivered a high-level performance. Davis (30-0, 28 KOs), however, showed once again that he is indeed special.

“Thank you guys for coming out, great event. I appreciate everyone who made this possible. We did it once again. On to the next!” said Davis.

A packed house full of 13,249 were on-hand to witness a masterful performance from Davis. Martin (18-1, 12 KOs) used quick combinations and elite athleticism to bank the early rounds. Davis took his time, opening up in the third round and constantly pinning Martin against the ropes.

“Frank Martin was a great fighter. He put up a good four to five rounds,” said Davis. “I was finding my range. (Martin) had a decent jab and was moving a lot and I just had to break him down as the fight went on.”

The undefeated three-division world champion applied steady, intelligent pressure, slowly breaking Martin down and setting him up for the highlight-reel finish in the eighth. With Martin backed into a corner, Davis rocked him with a powerful left uppercut followed by a left cross that left Martin flat on his back. As Martin struggled to rise, referee Harvey Dock wisely waved the fight off.

“I knew he wasn’t getting back up because of the way he fell, and I knew he was gonna tire himself out, that was the whole gameplan,” said Davis.

“I’m holding my head high,” said Martin. “At the end of the day, I came out to be great, but I came up short. I got caught with a shot that I didn’t see, one of those shots that comes from underneath and it went from there. I guess I didn’t make the count, but I appreciate everybody that came out, everybody that’s been a part of this event.

“I’ll be back. Going to go watch the film, get better and grow. Y’all will see me again.”

Davis has similar plans. “Now we go back to the drawing board and I want to fight all of them.”

Co-headlining the event, undefeated two-time world champion David “El Monstro” Benavidez didn’t miss a beat in his 175-pound debut, soundly outboxing and out-slugging former world champion Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk to win a 12-round unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 119-109) and the Interim WBC Light Heavyweight World Title.

"I went up in weight, won every single round and dominated a former world champion and an Olympian as well,” said Benavidez.

"I had him hurt a couple of times. I wasn't throwing a lot of combinations because I reinjured my hand in the third round. I tore my right ligament four weeks before the fight and I hurt my left hand in camp. I'm proud of myself because I also got a cut three weeks ago and I pushed through and gave the fans a good fight.”

Benavidez (29-0, 24 KOs) displayed every skill in the book, using a snapping jab to work his way in and unload to the head and body with accurate combinations. Gvozdyk, in his first world title bout since 2019, didn’t go quietly. The Kharkiv, Ukraine product threw punches in bunches, often sneaking in a right hand behind his quick left.

"I obviously wish we got a different decision tonight. I wish I had done a little more and been more active in the early rounds of the fight,” said Gvozdyk.

"I think the scores were pretty accurate. It was a good fight, a close fight. He was better in the first half of the fight, but I think I started doing better in the second half. I'd love a rematch with him."

Benavidez hurt Gvozdyk (20-2, 16 KOs) several times during the second half of the fight but wasn’t able to put his tough opponent away in what was a dominant performance.

“I'm looking forward to what's next in the division," said Benavidez.

Pay-per-view action also saw thrilling back and forth action between Gary Antuanne Russell (17-1, 17 KOs) and Alberto Puello (23-0, 10 KOs), which ended with Puello winning a 12-round split decision to capture the vacant Interim WBC Super Lightweight Championship.

“I got down on my knees and the first thing I did was thank God, and then I said, ‘I made it.' The weight barrier, the time away from my family, it was all worth it,” said a jubilant Puello.

“It feels great to be a champion, because this will mark the beginning of a new chapter in my life.”

The two southpaws gave as good as they got for the entire fight with both fighters refusing to give an inch. Russell’s quickness and aggression allowed him to pile up points, but Puello’s counterpunching proved to be the difference.

"It wasn't about what Puello did tonight, it was about what I didn't do. I should have listened more and executed more. Like I always say, if I execute our game plan, it's a matter of fact that I'll get the victory. But tonight, I fell short,” said Russell.

Puello was deducted a point for holding in round nine and was on the receiving end of a borderline low blow in the 10th. He appeared to return the favor a round later as Russell needed a momentary break from a low shot. In the end, Judge Dave Hudson’s 118-109 score for Russell was overruled by Tim Cheatham and Glenn Feldman who had it for Puello by scores of 114-113 and 115-112 respectively.

“It was the best I have ever fought in my life,” said Puello. “The hard work being far away from my family finally paid off. Bring anybody on, I don’t care. I’m ready to face all comers.”

Opening up the pay-per-view, Carlos Adames made a successful first defense of his WBC Middleweight World Title, winning a wide 12-round unanimous decision over Terrell Gausha.

“This is very satisfying,” said Adames. “To have defended my title the way I did, with the convincing decision, was what I wanted after a year away.”

Adames’ skills and power dictated the action. Gausha had his moments down the stretch, particularly in the seventh round. A low blow from Adames in the 11th caused a break in action, but he finished strong to win by scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.  

“Carlos Adames is a tough hell of a fighter and he has a strong punch, so I knew we had to be careful in the first few rounds,” said Gausha. “The game plan was to pick it up towards the end of the fight, which I thought I did, but obviously it wasn't enough tonight.

"The scorecards were wide. I don't agree with them. I thought it was closer, but at the end of the day he won the fight. So, it is what it is.”

“The knockout was in the making until I landed that accidental low blow,” said Adames. “That was unfortunate. (Gausha) was able to compose himself and catch his breath after that. He was an uncomfortable, unique opponent to face.

“The best is yet to come! I want to thank all the fans for coming out, and I appreciate your support.”

Prior to the pay-per-view, PBC on Prime Video action featured a trio of bouts topped by an impressive performance from Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis. Davis (19-3-1, 6 KOs) overcame a late rally to hand Elijah Garcia his first defeat via 10-round split decision.  

Judge Max De Luca scored the contest 97-93, while Eric Cheek had it 98-92, both for Davis, with judge John McKaie seeing it 97-93 for Garcia.

Davis jumped out to an early lead, working behind the jab and using movement to offset Garcia’s attack. Garcia (16-1, 13 KOs) continued to apply pressure, oftentimes pinning Davis on the ropes and landing to the body.

The fight grew increasingly closer as the rounds progressed, yet Davis remained composed, countering well off the ropes. Garcia landed several head-snapping shots in rounds nine and 10, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Davis’ lead.

In entertaining super featherweight action, former world champion Mark Magsayo (26-2, 17 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a 10-round unanimous decision over Eduardo Ramirez. Two judges scored the bout 97-92 with a third score of 99-90.

Magsayo’s power proved to be the difference against a game Ramirez. Two straight rights in the third dropped Ramirez (28-4-3, 13 KOs), who rose and immediately fought fire with fire. Magsayo remained in command, pulling away to win in convincing fashion.

Kicking off the stream, sensational super featherweight prospect Justin Viloria (6-0, 4 KOs) scored three body shot knockdowns on his way to a fifth-round TKO win over Angel Contreras (15-9-2, 9 KOs). Viloria controlled the action from the outset, using his jab to set up power punches. A body shot in the fourth crumpled Contreras to the canvas for the bout’s first knockdown. Two more knockdowns in the fifth, both from right hooks to the body, forced the fight’s end at 2:02 of that frame.

The event was promoted by GTD Promotions, Sampson Boxing, TGB Promotions and Man Down Promotions.

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