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,”
Follow Miguel on Twitter @MigMaravilla