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Boxing

Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz Pushes Davis In Deep Water

A fight of the year contender in the making

Image Credit: Tami Chappell/AP

Three-time world champion “Gervonta Tank” Davis is looking to make a statement.

He officially takes on four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz in a Halloween thriller for the WBA Super Featherweight and WBA Lightweight Championships live on SHOWTIME PPV Saturday, October 31 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The fight is the first pay-per-view card for both men and will be the first major boxing event with fans in attendance since COVID-19 forced a halt to U.S. sports in March.

Translation: that’s a big bank of Tank with Leo as an anchor in Mexican fan heavy Texas.

“I’m looking forward to showing the world how hard I’ve been working in camp,” said Davis. “We are just a few weeks away, and I’m already in great shape. Headlining on pay-per-view has always been a dream of mine since I started boxing. I can’t wait to put on a spectacular performance against multiple division world champion Leo Santa Cruz.”

The highly anticipated main event will be contested at 130-pounds and will be fought for both Santa Cruz’s 130-pound title and Davis’ 135-pound title, which they each won in their previous fight.

Davis vs. Santa Cruz is an all-action style matchup.

Davis owns a .957 knockout rate, while Santa Cruz is long established as one of the busiest punchers and best pressure fighters in the sport. Davis vs. Santa Cruz will be a rare clash in boxing history in which world titles in two weight classes will be at stake.

Other notable instances in recent boxing history are the 1988 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde fight for the light heavyweight and super middleweight titles, and the 2014 Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana rematch for the super welterweight and welterweight championships.

“October 31 is going to be the biggest fight of my career,” said Santa Cruz. “I’m going to fight a very tough opponent, maybe the toughest opponent of my career. Two titles are going to be on the line, and this will be my first time headlining a pay-per-view. So I’m going to do everything that I can to put on a good show.”

The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club.

Big Bank Tank

“This fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz is such a great fight that we had to have it with fans, which will be a first for a major boxing event since COVID-19 started,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions and a 12-time, five-division world champion.

“Tank’ Davis is a special talent, a super skilled fighter and I have been in the gym regularly to watch and help him prepare for a tough opponent in Santa Cruz, who we all know always comes in shape and ready to fight. It’s going to be a great night for Mayweather Promotions, for boxing and for sports. The best fighting the best is all we can ask for.”

Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) burst onto the scene with an explosive knockout victory over Jose Pedraza to win the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title in January 2017.

At the time, he became the youngest world champion in boxing at age 22. In the ring, Davis blends controlled aggression with blazing hand and foot speed, eye-catching power and sublime boxing skills. The dynamic combination of skills has made Davis a fan-favorite who filled arenas in Atlanta, Ga., and his hometown of Baltimore, Md., last year.

The 25-year-old began his 2019 with a knockout of Hugo Ruiz in February, before scoring a second-round stoppage of Ricardo Núñez in his homecoming fight in July. Davis closed out the year by capturing his lightweight title via 12th round TKO of former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in December.

Davis also owns a title-winning performance in which he dominated former champion Jesus Cuellar to capture the WBA 130-pound belt in 2018. Under the guidance of Mayweather Promotions, Davis will look to further improve his impressive portfolio with another title-winning performance in his first pay-per-view main event.

Los Angeles’ Finest

Fighting out of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) made his debut at super featherweight last November by defeating Miguel Flores to capture the WBA title.

Santa Cruz has made his name in the sport by engaging in numerous Fight of the Year contenders, including two thrilling featherweight title duels against four-time champion Abner Mares and two-division champion Carl Frampton each. He lost his featherweight title in his first match against Frampton in 2016, but reclaimed it in their rematch the following year.

The 32-year-old has competed in title bouts in 17 of his last 19 fights, while picking up belts at 118, 122, 126 and 130-pounds. The 130-pound title made Santa Cruz just the fifth fighter of Mexican descent to win titles in four weight classes, joining Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Mikey Garcia.

Santa Cruz was introduced to the sport and trained throughout his career by his father Jose, along with his brothers Jose Armando, a former lightweight contender, and Antonio. Santa Cruz will look to become a five-division champion in his first pay-per-view headliner.

“Davis is known for his power. But I think with my experience and ring IQ I can break him down. He’s probably going to be very aggressive in the early rounds. But if I do what I’m supposed to, and execute our game plan, I will win.”

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