Leo Santa Cruz begins preparation for Tank Davis

Leo Santa Cruz
Photo: Nabeel Ahmad/Premier Boxing Champions

By Miguel Maravilla

Four-division world champion and current WBA and featherweight and super featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) is ready for the biggest fight of his career as he will be taking on two-division world champion, and current WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (23-0, 22 KO’s) of Baltimore. Santa Cruz’s showdown with Davis will take place Saturday, October 24 in headlining live on Showtime Pay Per View from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“This is the biggest fight of my career. It is the fight I always wanted and my first pay per view that I headline. So, I am really, excited,” Leo Santa Cruz told Fightnews.com®. “I am motivated and training hard for this fight. No one gives me a shot, but I am going to shock the world.”

Already grinding in preparation for Davis, Santa Cruz began his training last week with his brother Antonio Santa Cruz. This camp will likely be limited with father/head trainer Don Jose Santa Cruz. The family patriarch tested positive for the COVID-19 early this year.

“I was active during quarantine. I stopped for about a month because my dad got the virus. He wasn’t doing well but he’s good now,” Santa Cruz stated. “I’m back in camp now the preparation is going well we started last week as we start to train more, and we will be stepping it up. I will do everything that way I come well prepared for the fight,”

Despite the illness, his father Don Jose has overcome a previous battle with cancer and the champ has always mentioned his father’s dedication and toughness to overcome battles as an inspiration.

“My father gives me motivation. I look at him and everything he has been through makes work harder at what I do,” Santa Cruz said.

Coming into this fight, Santa Cruz plans to bring in some heavy punchers to prepare and get accustomed to Davis’s power and style.

“Once we begin to spar. I will need guys that fight at 140 or 147,” Santa Cruz explained.

For Davis, he is coming off a twelfth-round stoppage over former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in closing the 2019 year as Davis himself struggled but managed to score the knockout.

“I saw some highlights of his last fight, but a lot of people were saying he didn’t look that good. I think it was the holidays, him training during the holidays. During those times you have Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is hard to stay focused. You want to have fun and be with your family. It’s hard to concentrate,” Santa Cruz on Davis’s last fight.

When asked about Davis.

“I was expecting Tank to be the opponent. There was already talks about the fight. I was just waiting for everything to go back to normal. We though in July or August but now we will be fighting in October,” Santa Cruz said about the matchup. “I think Gervonta Davis a great fighter, aggressive, and has great power. His style he is a lefty and fast, but we are prepared. We will look out for his power, be patient and smart. I think he looks for the power shot, long as I get away from that. I have the experience. So, I think with my experience, and if I pressure him, break him down, and frustrate him.”

Coming off a unanimous decision over Miguel Flores last November, Santa Cruz did not have his best performance in his last fight. Santa Cruz became a four-division world champion in winning the vacant WBA super featherweight title.

“I’m happy that I won that fight and that I won my fourth title, in my fourth weight division,” Santa Cruz on his last fight. “I didn’t do that good in that fight. I got sick a week before the fight, but I was not worried. I felt strong before the fight but then I was weak, I lost power. I won the fight, but It wasn’t the best performance.”

And onto the next.

When the fight with Davis was officially announced last week, the buzz quickly began in the boxing community and social media on Gervonta Davis making the weight for the fight. Davis is known to bulk up/gain weight in between fights while not active. Struggling to make the 130-pound limit, Davis moved up to lightweight for his last fight. This fight will have a weight limit of 130 pounds.

“If he works hard, dedicated, and has the discipline, he will make the weight,” Santa Cruz said. “If he doesn’t make the weight. It’s going to cost him a lot,” Santa Cruz explained.

Interestingly this fight will have both the super featherweight and lightweight titles on the line. Santa Cruz will be defending his WBA super featherweight title and attempting to win the WBA lightweight title.

“I thought we were fighting for the 130-pound title, but we are also fighting for 135. I didn’t expect that,” Santa Cruz said.

If Santa Cruz is victorious, he will win his fifth title in his fifth weight class. Winning his first world title at bantamweight back in 2012 as he went on to conquer titles at super bantamweight, featherweight, and super featherweight. When asked about fighting for his fifth title in his fifth weight class.

“It will be a big accomplishment if I get a title at 135. I will be the first Mexican to win five world titles in five weight classes. It would be an honor and it would go down in history. It will be a dream come true,”

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  • I agree with Cruz in making a statement on Tank making weight. Tank will need to dedicate himself to safely drop the weight without draining himself physically where it affects his performance. This fight has the ingredients for some excitement as a clash of styles will meet in the middle; high volume vs conservative power punching. Let’s hope this fight does not fall through and destroy our excitement.

  • Tank Davis’ toughest opponent here is the scale. It’s simple, if he does it right on the scale, then Davis is way too much for Leo. I just don’t think Leo’s power is enough to discourage him. It should be fun while it lasts though.

  • So how come no is is talking about Tank bringing up a featherweight up 2 divisions? If this was Canelo every Racist web site & You tube channels would not stop talking about the weight difference. Featherweight vs a Welterweight is what this fight amounts to. Garbage, Tank using a smaller Mexican with a following to get points by the casuals & get called a great fighter. Lol

    • Jose, Tank Davis is little more than a prospect at this point. Comparing his cherry picking to Canelo’s is ridiculous. It’d be different if he was THE Champion, but he isn’t.

      My issue with Canelo is that he was THE Champion at Middleweight after his Decision victory over GGG. Instead of cleaning out the Division (which had plenty of names and then taking on the next wave from JR Middleweight he opted to chase paper titles that almost nobody cares about. If he couldn’t make weight at 160, then vacate, but we all know he can. Rocky Fielding was a joke fight and nobody really takes that fight or title seriously. Kovalev would be more deserving of credit if it was a one off, but even he wasn’t really the boss of his class. I just want Canelo to clean one Division out!

  • SANTA CRUZ’S PATH TO GLORY:

    1) Excellent conditioning.
    2) An active, authoritative jab.
    3) High punch volume.
    4) Head movement.
    5) Straight right hand.
    6) Some body punching.
    7) Inside pressure, pressure y mas pressure!!
    8) Circle to the left.
    9) Hope Davis has trouble making weight.
    10) Hope Davis underestimates him.
    11) Pure heart.
    12) Pure determination.
    13) Pure will.
    14) Pure pride.
    15) True grit.
    16) Display a mean streak with a don’t give a sh*t/f*ck attitude!!

    DAVIS’ PATH TO GLORY:

    1) Properly condition for 130.
    2) Do not underestimate SC.
    3) If Davis properly follows requirements 1-2 (A HUGE IF!!!), then his offensive and defensive rhythms will stay active and flow easily like calm water over rocks.

  • Another reason for the elimination of all the junior and super weight classes-Davis, at the very least, is a lightweight trying to squeeze into 130 pounds. As for holding two titles in the same organization, it stands to reason you will be the best in a weight class that is only three or pounds different that the one you are the best in. Would also increase interest in the sport if people knew or cared who the “champions” are. Probably never happen because fighters continue to waste their hard earned money on sanctioning fees for these paper belts.

  • Please it’s going to be another alexis arguello vs arron Pryor, Davis stops Santa Cruz in the late rounds

    • Carlos Moreno, Davis doesn’t have half the will that Pryor had. His punching power may save the day but by no means will he wear Santa Cruz down through 10+ rounds.

  • Sooner than later, Santa Cruz will put aside his reach and high advantages and will succumb under the big power difference. Santa cruz is more volume than power, Tank is the opposite with very decent skills set. If Davis arrives overweight and the fight its on, the end will be shorter, otherwise I expect an entertaining fight the first 7 rounds, with Santa Cruz being stopped before the 10th.

  • KO 23 what really is there more to say. If pretty boy twitter sensation “Kingry” would step it up it ill be KO 24. Afraid a busted up face will turn his twitter followers away though.

    • Joe blow: Tank COULD HAVE faced Kingry and STILL can anytime he wants.. u forget Kingry keeps calling him out. Tank chose the lighter but rangy fighter in Santa Cruz. My thoughts: Tank isnt quite sure about fighting Kingry yet, so hes testing the water with SC first.

  • Based on technique alone, Leo is going to embarrass Davis. Gamboa exposed him. Not a stoppage, but Leo by decision. 117-111 SantaCruz, 115-113 SantaCruz and a controversial 118-110 for Tank Davis.

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