On Sunday, boxing five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis stayed undefeated against Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz. However, after the win, he honed in on rising lightweight sensation Ryan “Flash” Garcia and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
I will beat the both of y’all asses https://t.co/wyYlLmkVhQ
— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) December 6, 2021
Davis put his boxing skills on display, winning a rousing 12-round unanimous round decision over the relentless Cruz to retain his WBA Lightweight World Title.
Davis continued to prove he is a salable fighter doing work in front of a star-studded, sellout crowd of 15,850 at STAPLES Center. The fight was live on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View under the Premier Boxing Champions.
“He’s an Instagram fighter, a YouTuber.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Gervonta Davis calling out Ryan Garcia 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 6, 2021
“L.A., we did it for Kobe,” said Davis. “At the beginning of the fight, he came on strong. I felt as the fight was going, he was breaking down. But I hurt my hand, so I wasn’t able to get him out of there.”
With scorecards that read 116-112 and two scores of 115-113, Davis had a clean sweep, but Cruz made him work for it all night.
The atmosphere in the arena was electric, with scores of current and former NBA stars in attendance, including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kawhi Leonard, Dwight Howard, Kenny Smith, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, among others.
Davis is a Baltimore native. However, he entered the ring flanked by rapper Lil’ Durk and clad in Laker purple and gold with tassels along his trunks with the late Kobe Bryant’s number “8” and “24” on each side.
Cruz played to his Mexican supporters and heritage with a mariachi band behind him during his walkout.
From the outset, Cruz wanted to make a statement. He charged the defending champion, pinning him against the ropes and wailed away.
“That’s my style. ‘Pitbull’ is always going to be on the attack,” said Cruz. “I think we retained rhythm from the start to the end.”
However, Davis found his rhythm in the second and third, circling the ring and walking Cruz into shots. Cruz concentrated his attack on the body in the fourth, pounding Davis’ ribs.
Known for his power, Davis turned it on in the fourth round, alternating between the right hook and left cross behind his southpaw stance. He continued delivering the punishing power during the fifth round.
However, it came with consequences as Davis hurt his left hand and visibly avoided using it for the duration of the fight.
“He’s a shorter fighter, so I was throwing down on the top of his head,” said Davis. “I hit him with my knuckle and messed it up. I hurt my hand in the sixth round. No matter if the opponent is taller or shorter, I’ve got to get through it. He’s a warrior. Even though he didn’t win, a star was born tonight.”
“It was right around the fifth round I saw that his hand wasn’t working correctly,” Cruz said.
However, he still boxed beautifully in the middle rounds. Davis fired quick shots and pivoted away from the return fire. A right hook in the eighth briefly buzzed Cruz and brought the audience to their feet. But just when it appeared as if the fight were slipping away, Cruz fought fire with fire, landing a flush uppercut seconds before the bell.
The 23-year-old Mexican picked up the pace in the later rounds, keeping Davis on his toes and pounding away. Davis held his own, fighting back on even terms until the fight’s end. The close battle birthed a star in Isaac Cruz.
“Viva Mexico. I have nothing to say, the fans are speaking on who won this fight,” he said.
However, now Davis, who holds the WBA (regular) Lightweight title, has many options at his disposal. Between newly minted unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr., and WBC lightweight champ Devin Haney, Davis focused on rising lightweight sensation Ryan Garcia.
Davis replied to a Twitter comment by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Garcia.
“Whatever the best opportunity is for me, I’ll do it,” said Davis post-fight. “All of them guys are easy work. I’m the top dog.”
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