NEW YORK – Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia agreed on one thing Wednesday.
Davis admitted it was “very unprofessional” of him to have arrived at their press conference more than one hour and 50 minutes late. Garcia was early for the first face-to-face promotional event since their April 22 fight was announced February 24, but Davis didn’t get on stage at Palladium Times Square until 2:23 p.m. ET.
The press conference had already begun once Davis sat down at the dais. Davis and Garcia argued on stage about his extremely late arrival, but Davis acknowledged afterward that he should’ve been on time to promote the biggest fight of his career.
“It was ridiculous,” Davis told a group of reporters. “Just traffic, not prepared, things like that. I wanna say sorry to you guys for having y’all waitin’ and things like that. It was very unprofessional for me.”
Highlights of their fights played on a loop while Garcia, his team and everyone else waited on Davis’ arrival.
Baltimore’s Davis (28-0, 26 KOs) and Garcia (23-0, 19 KOs), of Victorville, California, will participate in another press conference Thursday at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. That event will be streamed live on Showtime Sports’ YouTube channel, starting at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT).
Before they took cross-country flights for another press conference, Garcia condemned Davis for his tardiness Wednesday.
“You know, it’s only gonna kinda serve as a negative for the overall success of this event,” Garcia said. “We’re already kinda rushing it in a way, so it kinda shows his being unprofessional and kind of continues a pattern of his character and his integrity as a person and as a professional. That’s just how it is.”
Their 12-round, 136-pound bout was finalized eight weeks before the date on which it is scheduled. Garcia would’ve preferred a more extensive buildup toward their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“You’ve seen megafights as well that have longer stretches of promotion,” Garcia said. “You know, this is quite quick. We’re about six weeks out and this is our first press conference, you know? When I’ve seen things in the past, it’s been longer, so I feel like it’s rushed, just maybe a little bit [because] of his personal issues.”
Garcia figures their fight couldn’t have been scheduled later due to Davis’ legal issues, most notably his May 5 sentencing for his role in a hit-and-run accident that took place in November 2020 in Baltimore (https://www.boxingscene.com/gervonta-davis-pleads-guilty-hit-run-case-baltimore-sentencing-set-5–172521).
“I don’t want it to come across like speaking down on him,” Garcia said, “but the truth is, yeah, that’s probably why.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.