Not for a single moment did Hector Luis Garcia appear unnerved over the monumental task that stood before him.
This past weekend, January 7th, at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C., Garcia squared off against the hard-hitting Gervonta Davis. Though he was given little to no chance in the eyes of oddsmakers, Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs) was determined to continue his upward trajectory.
Thanks to his fierce attitude and pedigree, the 31-year-old former Olympian fought Davis on mostly even terms. However, having found his distance and rhythm, Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) began changing the tide. At the tail end of the eighth, in particular, Garcia appeared to be out on his feet, courtesy of a Davis left hand. While he ultimately waltzed to his corner, the Dominican native remained seated, despite referee Albert Earl Brown signaling the start of the ninth round.
Since bowing out, Garcia has been subjected to perpetual criticism. Although he’s a man of few words, Garcia assured his fans that the severity of his condition forced him to wave the white flag.
“My people, thank you for the support,” said Garcia recently on his social media account. “But believe me, it hit me in the head that affected me a lot so I could not continue the next round. I’m very sorry.”
Davis, subsequently, will now move on to a long-awaited showdown against Ryan Garcia, slated for sometime in mid-April. Hector, on the other hand, will attempt to pick up the pieces.
Following a career-defining 2022, the newly crowned WBA 130-pound titlist will begin to weigh his options. Amongst them, Garcia must decide whether he will drop back down in weight and defend his championship throne, or if his body will allow him to compete at 135 pounds.
In any event, with the first defeat of his career now plastered to his resume, Garcia has accepted that Davis was the better man. Ultimately, despite his recent shortcomings, Garcia doesn’t believe that he’s at the end of his pugilistic rope.
“I know I lost a battle but not the war, I will continue.”