WASHINGTON – Gervonta Davis’ assistant trainer told him between rounds at one point early Sunday morning that his fight with Hector Luis Garcia was close on the scorecards.

Davis disagreed. The powerful southpaw from nearby Baltimore believes he belonged comfortably ahead of Garcia on the cards before Garcia declined to leave his corner for the start of the ninth round at Capital One Arena.

“Nah, I don’t think it was close,” Davis said during his post-fight press conference. “I was hitting him with more cleaner shots. I mean, the most he was doing was hitting me with a jab. And that’s – I don’t feel as though, that’s not winning.”

The judges’ scores supported Davis’ assessment of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.

Two judges from Maryland, Steven Rados (79-73) and Wayne Smith (79-73), gave Garcia only one round apiece. Nevada’s Dave Moretti had it slightly closer, 78-74, before the ninth round began.

Davis (28-0, 26 KOs), who generally gets off to slow starts, landed only 4-of-16 punches combined in the first three rounds, according to CompuBox’s unofficial statistics. During a one-sided eighth round, however, CompuBox credited Davis for landing 29-of-39 power punches on Garcia (16-1, 10 KOs, 3 NC), including a left hand that briefly sent Garcia into a squatting position and left the previously undefeated Dominican southpaw unable to see out of his right eye.

“I felt as though he was trying to set me up,” Davis explained, “so I couldn’t just like just go out there and throw punches, you know? When you got somebody like that, it’s more so beating him mentally. You know what I mean? So, that’s basically what I was doing, not trying to run into them shots. I was trying to like catch him good, but not let him catch me. You know what I mean?”

Through eight rounds, CompuBox counted 44 more overall punch connections for Davis than Garcia (99-of-239 to 55-of-345). Calvin Ford, Davis’ head trainer, credited his fighter for the intelligence and patience Davis displayed during this 12-round, 135-pound championship match.

“This fight right here, his IQ, he was analyzing [Garcia],” Ford said. “It was two things that [Garcia] couldn’t do well, was move backwards and move to his left that good. And then Tank started doing some angles stuff that I was like, ‘Man, I’m really impressed with [it].’ He was hitting him with some shots. He was hitting him with some shots and whatnot.

“And then he came back to the corner, [assistant] coach Kenny [Ellis] was messing with him, saying, ‘It’s close,’ because [Garcia’s] workload looked like he was doing something. You know what I’m saying? But Tank went out there and started putting it together. I mean, he really started putting it together and whatnot. And I was like, ‘Wow!’ ”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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