'Ghost' busted: Gervonta Davis defeats Frank Martin via wild eighth-round KO

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 15: WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis (R) punches Frank Martin during a title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on June 15, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Davis retained his title with an eighth-round knockout. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Gervonta Davis showed off his old power in his first fight in 14 months. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)


Gervonta Davis is still undefeated, still WBA lightweight world champion and still one of the sport's premier knockout artists.

"Tank" defeated undefeated title challenger Frank "The Ghost" Martin with a vicious knockout in the eighth round to improve his record to 30-0 with 28 KOs. It was Davis' first fight in 14 months and he ended up looking like he never left.

Davis set up the climactic blow with an uppercut that stunned Martin enough to leave him defenseless for a left hook that put him flat on the mat.

The fight began with Martin in control, even after Davis walked out to the "Ghostbusters" theme song as a nod to Martin's nickname. "Ghost" consistently won exchanges for the first three rounds while keeping his distance from his famously powerful opponent.

It was a little more even between the fourth and fifth rounds before the flow of the fight turned violently to Davis' favor in the seventh. Martin might have been ahead on the scorecards, but Davis' power punches were finding home enough that disaster was inevitable.

"I knew that he was going to tire down," Davis said after the fight. "That's what I was doing. Stand there, be a target so he could tire himself out, and once he tired himself out, I started picking him apart."

Instead of fatigue, Martin painted his loss of momentum as an issue of becoming too comfortable. He spent much of the later rounds backing away from Davis and finding himself on the ropes.

"I felt like in the beginning I was in control, then got a little too comfortable," Martin said. "I got comfortable chilling on the ropes, trying to find that bigger shot. It wasn't presenting itself, I stopped doing my movement. Once I stopped doing my movement, he was able to land more shots."

The fight was Davis' first appearance in the ring since April 22, 2023, when he defeated rising star Ryan Garcia for the biggest win of his career. It cemented him as one of the biggest stars in boxing, but Davis found himself in a jail cell not long after. He pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor charges stemming from a 2020 hit-an-run accident in which four people, one of them pregnant, were injured and was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest, but was taken into custody after violating the terms of that sentence.

Davis was surprisingly positive about his 44 days in jail, which didn't stop him from being a strong favorite entering the fight.

"It made me a better person by patience and things like that," Davis said. "Stuff happens in life where you've got to go through it and not try to get it around it. It made me a better person, it made me a better father, it made me a better everything. I want to be a better athlete as I continue to build and be great in my career."

Davis declined to specifically to call out a future opponent in the wake of the win, but acknowledged that three fighters the interviewer mentioned — Vasiliy Lomachenko, Shakur Stevenson and Isaac Cruz — were "on my radar."

Here's how it all played out with live updates and analysis from Yahoo Sports:

  • RESULT: Gervonta Davis def. Frank Martin by KO at 1:29 of R8

    Tank retains his title and stays undefeated with another knockout added to his résumé.

  • Davis just wore Martin down over 8 rounds and then just completely flattened him. Incredible KO from the champion.

  • Martin can't help but get trapped in the corner and Tank capitalizes! He lands a huge shot to turn off Martin's light. Fight is over!

  • Tank clearly won round 7 despite eating that shot off balance at the end!

  • Martin lands a huge counter left that backs Davis up!

  • Tank has turned it on in the 7th. Combos are landing at will.

  • Martin staying sharp and mostly out of the way of Tank's shots, but Tank is steadily honing in on the shots he wants to land.

  • Martin lands a big shot and Davis smiles and says, "Bring it!"

  • Davis is getting in his groove now after 4 rounds. Martin is jumpy, but he's staying active and banking some rounds.

  • Martin is no pushover! He caught Tank with some clean combos and counters in round 3.

  • Davis catches Martin with a big counter shot to the body. Martin holding his own so far thru two rounds.

  • Martin looks good in round 1. Landed some clean jabs and a big right hand. Tank is a notoriously slow starter and that trend continues.

  • Fighters have been introduced and here we go.

  • And here comes Gervonta Davis walking out to the Ghostbusters theme.

  • Frank Martin is making his ringwalk now.

  • RESULT: David Benavidez def. Oleksandr Gvozdyk by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 118-109)

    "The Mexican Monster" hammers "The Nail" by unanimous decision to win the WBC interim light-heavyweight belt.

  • Gvozdyk makes it to the final bell. The veteran was no easy out for Benavidez and gave his all. But it likely wasn't enough as the decision is in the judges' hands.

  • Benavidez is breathing out of his mouth after his early onslaught. He's dominating the fight with two rounds to go, but isn't striking fear into other light heavyweights.

  • Benavidez may be getting a bit frustrated as Gvozdyk continues to eat his power shots.

  • Thru 7 rounds and Gvozdyk is just showing off his chin. Benavidez has power, but the bigger Gvozdyk is proving much tougher to put down.

  • Benavidez slows just a bit in the 6th and Gvozdyk survives to fight another round.

  • Gvozdyk is near the end. He's getting tagged and Benavidez is only growing in confidence. The big shots are coming in fast and furious. Round 5 starts now with Benavidez in control.

  • Benavidez is showing Gvozdyk no respect. He's walking him down and firing off clean, quick body shots then bringing it up top for some big left hooks.

  • Benavidez is hurting Gvozdyk with fast jabs and body shots. Gvozdyk can't take those kinds of shots much longer.

  • Gvozdyk looks much bigger than Benavidez, who is making his 175-pound debut, but Benavidez is much quicker so far. Benavidez landed some impactful body shots in R1.

  • David Benavidez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk are now in the ring. Who will emerge as the interim WBC light heavyweight world champion?

Lightweight: Gervonta Davis def. Frank Martin by KO (R8, 1:29):

Light heavyweight: David Benavidez def. Oleksandr Gvozdyk by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 118-109)
Super lightweight: Alberto Puello def. Gary Antuanne Russell by split decision (109-118, 115-112, 114-113)
Middleweight:Carlos Adames def. Terrell Gausha by unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 118-110)