Three intriguing pay-per-view matchups featuring knockout artists and rising stars will precede three-division world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis’ 12-round super fight with hard-hitting sensation “King” Ryan Garcia in a SHOWTIME PPV production on Saturday, April 22 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view telecast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features Cuban star and WBA Super Middleweight Champion David Morrell Jr. battling Ghana’s Sena Agbeko in the co-main event. The action will also see an eagerly anticipated rematch between super middleweight sluggers Gabriel Rosado and Bektemir Melikuziev in a 10-round showdown. Kicking off the telecast will be hard-hitting 19-year-old middleweight Elijah Garcia facing rugged Kevin Salgado of Mexico in a 10-round showdown.
Davis vs. Garcia is promoted by GTD Promotions, TGB Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. The telecast is being produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV and will be available across pay-per-view providers including DAZN PPV.
Tickets for the live event are on sale now and are available through www.axs.com.
A Cuban-native who came to Minneapolis to begin his pro career in 2019, Morrell (8-0, 7 KOs) has quickly shown off the talents that made him a standout in Cuba’s storied amateur scene . The 25-year-old captured an interim title by dominating then-unbeaten Lennox Allen in August 2020 in just his third pro fight. Morell, who trains in Texas with renowned coach Ronnie Shields, added two dominant knockout victories in 2022 as he stopped Kalvin Henderson in June before a 12th-round TKO of the previously unbeaten Aidos Yerbossynuly in November.
“I’m very excited to be the co-main event of this incredible night for boxing,” said Morrell. “’Tank’ Davis is one of the sport’s biggest superstars and my aspiration is to one day be on the Mount Rushmore of boxing next to him. On April 22 I’m going to dispatch my opponent in sensational fashion. And after this fight I want the ‘Mexican Monster’ David Benavidez, but first I have to get past a tough and very capable opponent in Agbeko. I intend to take care of my business on April 22 and then look forward to taking on David Benavidez in a fight that the fans want to see.”
Originally from Ghana and now fighting out of Nashville, Tennessee, Agbeko (27-2, 21 KOs) enters this fight having won his last four contests and 12 of his last 13. The 31-year-old won three times in 2022, including most recently earning a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Isaiah Steen last October on SHOBOX: The New Generation®. The only blemish on Agbeko’s record since 2014 is a decision loss in 2021 against top 168-pound contender Vladimir Shishkin.
“I’m very thankful to my entire team for this incredible opportunity to fight for the title,” said Agbeko. “This is a stern test against one of the best super middleweights in the world in the co-main event of the biggest fight of the year. This is an opportunity that I relish greatly and is exactly how I envisioned winning the belt. I’ve had a long journey to get to this point, but I’ve always trained like a guy with a target on my back. I want to win the belt and be the fighter that everyone is going after. I have a great team behind me and I can’t wait to properly introduce myself to the boxing world on April 22.”
Having faced a deep and extensive list of champions and top fighters throughout his career, the always exciting Rosado (26-16, 15 KOs) will look to repeat his 2021 highlight-reel KO against Melikuziev in one of the year’s biggest surprises when they meet on April 22. The Philadelphia native has gone toe-to-toe with current and former champions Jermell Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin, Peter Quillin, David Lemieux, Joshua Clottey, Daniel Jacobs and Jaime Munguia in a pro career that dates back to 2006.
“It was tough having the fight against ‘Zurdo’ canceled, but now it’s me versus Bek on the biggest fight card of the year,” said Rosado. “I’m focused and ready to put Bek back in check. I look forward to being part of a historical fight card, and I plan on dominating ‘The Bully’ once again!”
The 26-year-old Melikuziev (11-1, 9 KOs) heads into April 22 seeking revenge from his 2021 defeat to Rosado and to extend his winning streak to five. Originally hailing from Uzbekistan and now residing in Indio, California, Melikuziev turned pro in 2019 after an impressive amateur career that included gold medals in the 2015 and 2017 Asian Championships. Melikuziev had knocked out six of his first seven pro opponents before running into Rosado’s right hand.
“This is the fight I wanted and the most important fight for me today,” said Melikuziev. “This is the fight to right the wrong. I am so lucky to make it on the biggest card of the year. I want to thank my team, my promoter, and of course, Rosado, for giving me this opportunity.”
Fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona, Garcia (14-0, 12 KOs) earned a career-best victory in March, blasting out the previously unbeaten Amilcar Vidal in the fourth-round on SHOWTIME® to announce his presence at 160-pounds. The 19-year-old had previously put together a four-win 2022 campaign capped by a second round KO of Cruse Stewart that streamed live on the SHOWTIME SPORTS® YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page. The precocious Garcia has moved fast since turning pro in 2020 and has knocked out six of his last seven opponents.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this major pay-per-view event and I’m excited for the opportunity,” said Garcia. “After my last fight, I’ve been in the gym waiting for the time to showcase my skills yet again. I’m planning on putting on a great performance against Salgado on April 22. The main event is a great fight and ‘Tank’ is a beast, and Ryan is undefeated and talented and will be a tough test. But make sure you don’t miss my fight, because it’s going to be a Mexican war for all of the fans.”
A native of Mexico City, Salgado (15-1-1, 10 KOs) is the younger brother of former super featherweight champion Juan Carlos Salgado and now fights out of San Antonio, Texas. The 25-year-old turned pro in late 2016 and delivered knockouts in six of his first nine outings. After scoring three-straight knockouts between September 2019 and February 2021, Salgado returned to the ring in October 2021 to defeat Ricardo Banuelos Cernas by unanimous decision before fighting Bryant Perrella to a split-draw in his U.S. debut in April. Salgado bounced back from a September 2022 defeat to Joey Spencer by knocking out Gilberto Flores in the first round of their December 2022 clash.
“I know that I’m facing a good opponent, but I’m ready to surprise the boxing world,” said Salgado. “This is a great opportunity for me. I’m grateful to be in this position and I’m coming to take full advantage of it. I’m feeling strong in training camp and I’ll be ready to test Garcia and see where he stacks up.”