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Roiman Villa

Roiman Villa stuns Rashidi Ellis with late assault

Gervonta Davis punishes Hector Luis Garcia ahead of Ryan Garcia bout

Roiman Villa realized he needed a late rally Saturday night to avoid defeat against Rashidi Ellis. That’s exactly what Flaco de Oro delivered in the exciting 12th round of an IBF welterweight title eliminator at Capital One Arena.

As the crowd in Washington D.C. waited for Baltimore’s Gervonta “Tank” Davis to face Hector Luis Garcia, Villa delivered one of the most exciting rounds of the Premier Boxing Champions card. Villa pounced on Ellis in the 12th round to escape with a majority decision.

The Venezuelan Villa dropped Ellis twice in the 12th round to eventually earn the majority decision before the crowd of 19,731.  

Ellis (24-1, 15 knockouts) dominated the early rounds. He even appeared primed to escape with the victory heading into the final round. The previously unbeaten Ellis had dominated the first half of the fight, but Roiman Villa (26-1, 24 knockouts) controlled the final rounds.

Roiman Villa dominated in the 12th

Villa praised Ellis as a tough fighter, but he was clearly tougher on this night.

“He moved a lot,” Villa told the media afterward. “He does hit hard. The first couple rounds I was a little tight, but then I got loose. I was on top of him from the first round. I know that fighters such as him, who are quick, sooner or later will get a little tired. And that’s what I took advantage of.”

Villa’s final flurry was decisive. Two of the judges scored the fight 114-112 in Villa’s favor. The other one scored it 113-113. Villa knocked Ellis down with a powerful left hook at the start of the final round. Ellis labored to get back up and fight through the rest of the round. 

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Villa, though, had enough juice to send Ellis back to the canvas. He dropped Ellis again with 30 seconds to go in the fight. Ellis managed to get back up from the second knockdown, but the damage had already been done.

“My corner told me to knock him down in the 12th round,” Villa said. “I couldn’t do it on the first try, but I kept going. I thought he just fell on the last knockdown, so I wasn’t sure if it was a knockdown. But if they want the rematch we’ll give them the rematch.”

Ellis wants another shot at Roiman Villa

Villa appeared like a different fighter late. After throwing only 43 power punches in the first eight rounds compared to Ellis’ 79 in that span, Villa hammered Ellis with 58 power punches in the final four runs. 

Ellis, who threw only 24 of his 103 power punches in the final four rounds, proclaimed a desire for a rematch right away. He claimed to have dictated the pace of the fight. Not surprisingly, he disagreed with the majority decision.

“I was winning most of the rounds,” Ellis said. “Yeah, he had the knockdown, but other than that I was winning most of the rounds.”

Conversely, Gervonta “Tank” Davis left no doubts in the Showtime pay-per-view main event. He proved to be too much for Hector Luis Garcia.

Ryan Garcia up next for Gervonta Davis

Davis showed why he was such a heavy favorite against the previously unbeaten Garcia. The WBA super featherweight world champ declined to come out for the ninth round against the WBA lightweight title holder.

Davis, who wore a Selena T-shirt before the bout, punished Garcia badly in the eighth round.

Gervonta “Tank” Davis celebrates after Hector Luis Garcia refused to come out for the ninth round Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, Capital One Arena. Photo by  Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME.

“I was a little surprised he didn’t come out,” Davis said. “But I knew he was hurt bad but he’s a fighter and he didn’t want to show it. I knew he was hurt though.”

Leading up to the fight, Garcia, 31, boasted of deserving a shot at Ryan Garcia. Davis, however, ended those hopes, at least in the immediate future. Davis cleared the path for the clash of two of boxing’s most popular unbeaten champs.

“God willing, I’m ready for the fight with Ryan Garcia,” Davis said. “It’s scheduled for April. I’m here. He’s been training. He’s been talking. And let’s see who’s really about that.”

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