Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz: Trick or Treat?
This Saturday night, Mayweather Promotions and Showtime present a Halloween PPV special. WBA Lightweight Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0) is going up against WBA Super Featherweight Champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (37-1-1). This is a very intriguing fight even though most experts would say it's more like an“Old Lion” vs “Young Lion” matchup.
The first fight happens today (Friday) at 1pm EST/10 am PST when they go to officially weigh-in.
It’s no secret that Gervonta Davis has had his issues with the scale in the past. Given that history, all eyes will be on the Showtime YouTube page to see if he makes it. Seeing the photo he posted on social media two weeks ago, I don’t see it being a problem for Tank.
Getting back to the main event, let’s take a look at what we can expect from both men.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is one of the young stars in the sport. He has been able to accomplish that by producing what most fight fans like to see and that’s knockouts. It was March 2016 when I saw him at a media workout in Baltimore for the first time. One thing I took away from that event, which included a sparring session, was that he was going to be a world champion in the not so distant future.
Since then, he has received mixed reviews as his talent was levels above the competition he was facing. Seeing that, he knew that a popular, well known fighter who is respected in the sport had to be next.
In this fight, Gervonta will need to use those young legs to work his way into Leo Santa Cruz. He showed flashes of this in the Hugo Ruiz fight where he used the up and under to make his way in. This eventually led to the finishing knockout. With the Santa Cruz fight, he will have to do a lot of this while also breaking his opponent down to the body.
This tactic may draw Leo into the fight that Tank wants, which is being close, while firing back and forth. If this ends up being true, then Tank may get that late stoppage victory which will raise his profile even more. The question will be whether he conditioned himself properly to be able to do that late as his last performance did not show a good level of stamina. Gervonta will have to think about “risk versus reward” when he gets a good gauge of Santa Cruz’ power.
Leo Santa Cruz
Leo Santa Cruz has been die hard boxing fan’s favorite for a long time. Whether it was the wars with Abner Mares or the two great fights with Carl Frampton, Leo has always been an all action fighter. For those that don’t know, Leo is most famously known for averaging in the neighborhood of a thousand punches a fight, which is no easy task.
After fighting at featherweight and unable to secure the Gary Russell Jr. fight, Santa Cruz moved up to super featherweight. He had a underwhelming performance but we have to remind ourselves that fighters are subject to an off night from time to time.
Santa Cruz opted to go straight into a fight with a rising young star who possess dynamite in his hands. A bold choice but not one that I am surprised about, as Santa Cruz is a warrior.
In this fight, Leo needs to turn back the clock and incorporate a game plan similar to the second Frampton fight. You saw a smart Leo fight from the outside, using his jab effectively and only mixing it up in spots. If Leo can fight this way for the first six to seven rounds, he can turn up the punch count late in the fight if Davis shows significant signs of fatigue.
My Three Cents:
Whether people want to admit it or not, Gervonta “Tank” Davis has become part of pop culture. This means he will draw a lot of causal fans this weekend. A win on Saturday will further solidify that and possibly push him just a bit into main stream media.
The questions to ask yourself leading up to this fight: Will this be a Trick or a Treat? Can Gervonta Davis put on the type of performance that makes him the next box office attraction? Can Leo Santa Cruz dip into his bag of tricks and produce a performance of a lifetime?
You don’t want to miss this one on Saturday Night! If you would like to see this matchup, you can watch it on Showtime PPV ($74.99) through your cable network or through the Showtime website or app. NOTE: A Showtime subscription is not required to purchase this fight.
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