By IAN QUILLEN | Associated Press
BALTIMORE — Gervonta Davis stopped Ricardo Nunez midway through the second round to retain the WBA super featherweight title Saturday night in his first fight in his hometown in six years.
After the fight, Davis referenced President Donald Trump's critical comments about Baltimore.
"It was amazing to fight in front of friends and family. It means a lot," Davis said. "This was not just a win for me, but a win for Baltimore."
Davis (22-0, 21 knockouts) seemed to invite Nunez (21-3) forward early in the second, then landed a left hook that sent the Panamanian backpedaling to the ropes, and the sellout crowd of 14,686 at Royal Farms Arena to its feet. Referee Harvey Dock stopped the bout with 1:27 remaining in the round.
"I saw him get hit by a couple of shots and I decided to stop it," Dock said. "I think he was defenseless at that time, at that point, and he was."
After the deaths of fighters Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Alfredo Santillan earlier this week from injuries sustained in the ring, Davis remembered each in his first post-fight remarks in the ring.
"Thank God. Condolences to the two fighters who died this week, but tonight we showed out," Davis said.
The 130-pound Davis was a heavy favorite in his sixth consecutive title victory between the WBA and IBF championships.
Assuming a victory over Nunez, a mandatory challenger, Davis had already been linked to bigger fights against fellow belt-holders Garry Russel Jr. and Tevin Farmer. Afterward, Davis said he wanted to unify against Farmer, who outpointed Guillaume Frenois on Saturday to retain his IBF strip.
"That's a fight that can be made," Davis said. "Let's get it on later this year."
In the first title bout in Baltimore of any kind since 1970, Davis entered the ring in black and orange robe and trunks, evoking the Baltimore Orioles on an evening that was a homecoming for more than just the 24-year-old southpaw.
Soon-to-be Hall of Fame Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was ringside, as was Baltimore-born former light-middleweight champion Vincent Pettway.
On the undercard, Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-2, 18 KOs) stopped Roman Martinez with a minute remaining in the second round. Gamboa felled Martinez with a left hook earlier in the round, before sending him to the canvas again with a quick right hand.
Lightweight Ladarius Miller (20-1) outpointed Jezzrel Corrales (23-3) over 10 rounds after referee Brent Bovell docked Corrales a point for holding during the final minute of the fight. Miller had winning scores of 96-93, 95-94, 93-96 from the judges.