Gervonta Davis flattens Frank Martin in 8th-round KO victory

June 16, 2024, 12:49 AM

LAS VEGAS -- In his first appearance in 14 months, Gervonta Davis packed a full house into the MGM Grand on Saturday and set off a frenzy with a vicious knockout.

Davis (30-0, 28 KOs) knocked Frank Martin out cold with a left hand at the 1:29 mark of the eighth round to successfully defend his WBA lightweight championship.

It was Davis's first fight since an equally stunning knockout of Ryan Garcia in April 2023. Davis, 29, served 44 days at a Baltimore detention center last summer for violating the terms of a house arrest stemming from a hit-and-run crash in November 2020 that injured four people.

Davis took his time in the early rounds, calmly walking Martin down but rarely opening up with his notorious power. By the fourth round, however, Davis started to settle in, and his power had a visible effect on Martin, who reacted so strongly to several of Davis' fakes that it drew laughs from the champion and the sellout crowd.

A knockout finish felt all but inevitable in the seventh, as Martin started to routinely stand still and cover up in his corner. Davis maintained his pressure and expertly picked his shots, bringing the crowd to its feet with power shots in the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds. He finally delivered the knockout they wanted in the eighth, with a left uppercut, straight left combination that left Martin stiff on the canvas. Davis climbed the ropes and perfectly stuck a backflip in celebration.

Davis, of Baltimore, will have options for his next bout, including potential meetings with IBF titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko, WBC titleholder Shakur Stevenson and WBO titleholder Denys Berinchyk.