Youth was easily served Saturday night as Gervonta Davis captured the WBA lightweight title by stopping game former featherweight champion Yuriokis Gamboa in the 12th round at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Ga.
In round one, Davis, a southpaw, stalked while Gamboa, boxed. He tried to establish his jab, but was short with most of them. Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) landed two straight lefts to the chin. Gamboa, who’s been down 14 times in his career, stayed upright.
Davis, 13 years younger than the 38-year-old Gamboa, edged closer in round two. He landed a solid jab and body shot. A short left sent Gamboa to the canvas. Gamboa got up and waited for Davis to come after him. An inside hook by Davis connected. Gamboa appeared to be having a problem with his right leg or foot. It was later determined to be his boxing shoe.
Round three continued after a discussion. Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) connected with a counter right. Davis hurt Gamboa with two straight shots to the chin. Gamboa landed a body shot.
In round four, Davis continued to fight at a controlled pace. Gamboa worked the body. Davis connected with two shots that bothered Gamboa. Davis stung him with another left and followup uppercut. Gamboa ate another barrage of hooks.
Davis jabbed more in round six. The pace was slow. Gamboa jabbed to the body. He landed a left hook. Davis cracked him with another couple of lefts to the face and body. Davis was told by his corner to dig to the body in round seven. Gamboa landed a right. Davis connected with an inside uppercut. Gamboa landed a solid combination.
Shockingly Gamboa forced Davis into the ropes in round eight. He landed a right. Davis looked a little gassed. He wasn’t punching much. Davis finally went to the body. Suddenly, he took a step back and landed a big left that floored Gamboa for the second time in the fight.
Davis came running at Gamboa in round nine. He jabbed and jabbed and jabbed. He was walking Gamboa down—trying to end the fight. An uppercut wobbled Gamboa. Somehow the former Olympic gold medalist made it to hear the bell.
Gamboa connected with a combination in round 10. The punches had no effect on Davis who caught Gamboa with two straight left hands. Davis connected again in round 11. The fighters wrestled more than punched until the last 10 seconds when Davis unloaded, staggering Gamboa.
Davis connected with a straight left to the chin in round 12. Gamboa, with no legs, and beat, absorbed a number of shots until finally being dumped for a third time from a short uppercut. Reiss immediately waved the fight off.
The time was 1:17 seconds into round 12.
“I knew Gamboa was a tough fighter,” said Davis. “I give my performance a c+.”