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Tempers Flare As Gervonta Davis And Ryan Garcia Make Weight For Big Fight

Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia had to be physically separated when they came together one final time at Friday afternoon’s weigh-ins ahead of their eagerly anticipated fight.

Garcia (28-0, 26 KOs), who emerged in a black tank top before stripping down to yellow shorts on a clear 84F afternoon, was first on the scales and came in at 135½lbs, a half-pound below the contracted catch-weight of 136lbs.

Davis (23-0, 19 KOs), who entered wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts, tipped the scales at 135lbs before a crowd of several thousand spectators gathered in Toshiba Plaza, the public square outside the 20,000-seat arena where Saturday’s grudge match between America’s two most popular boxers will take place.

Afterward they came together at center stage for a staredown, where the long-running hostility between the pair reached a boiling point. After jawing and chirping at one another for 45 seconds, Davis shoved Garcia in his chest and Garcia pushed back before the men were dragged backwards to their respective sides of the stage.

Garcia said Davis was provoked on stage by Bernard Hopkins, the former middleweight champion turned partner with Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes the 24-year-old southern California native.

“I don’t really know (what happened), to be honest,” Garcia said. “I think him and Bernard started getting into it, then it just became something crazy. But I was focused, I’m staying focused and I’m ready to do my job.”

Davis wouldn’t elaborate on the exchange but took a swipe at Hopkins before exiting the stage.

“He (was) talking about how, ‘He about that life’,” Davis said. “Nobody is worried about his old ass. He needs to sit about and let the young’ins doing it.”

The issue of weight was always the biggest sticking point in the already painstaking negotiations to make Saturday’s blockbuster fight: a rare showdown between two undefeated stars in their primes represented by warring companies and broadcasters.

Davis, who is conceding four and a half inches in height, has captured world titles at 126lbs, 130lbs and 135lbs but fought only once at 140lbs, where Garcia’s two most recent outings have taken place.

Their compromise for Saturday was a catch-weight of 136lbs, one pound above the lightweight division limit. The contract also includes a same-day weigh-in for 10am on Saturday morning with a rehydration clause, stating that neither fighter can have gained more than 10lbs from when they stepped on the scales on Friday afternoon, lest they incur steep financial penalties.

The clause will likely mitigate Garcia’s advantage as the naturally bigger, stronger man by preventing him from eating and rehydrating freely as he normally would from Friday afternoon.

But while the back-and-forth over weight stipulations has come to dominate the discourse in the run-up to fight night, Garcia said Friday he was focused on only one thing.

“I feel good right now. I had breakfast in the morning so I feel strong,” he said. “My focus now is just on Gervonta Davis. I’m ready to destroy him. That’s it.”

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