By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (29-0, 26 KOs) of Baltimore retained his world title but he had his hands full in winning a twelve round unanimous decision over IBF #2 Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (22-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico City, Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Scores were 116-112, 115-113, 115-113.
Davis worked the jab to start the fight, Cruz pressured, attacking to the body and connecting with wild swings. Later in the round, Cruz slipped, which dropped the Davis supporters to their feet. Cruz came right at Davis to begin the second and continued to swarm him with wild punches. In the third, Gervonta kept his distance as Cruz kept coming aggressively. Davis kept boxing in the fourth using his skill against Cruz’s aggressiveness.
Referee Thomas Taylor warned Davis in round five for leaning and holding Cruz’s head down. In the sixth, Davis kept his distance as Cruz was relentlessly continuing to go forward. Cruz cornered Davis to begin the seventh, later in the round Tank and Pitbull traded in the center of the ring. It was an intense eighth round as Cruz connected with solid shots backing up Davis.
Late in the ninth, Davis and Cruz exchanged left hooks and both connected at the same time. Davis retreated and boxed. Cruz cornered Davis to start the tenth and was the aggressor backing Davis up to the ropes with big punches, taking it to the champ. The Mexican kept on coming in the championship rounds attacking from every angle possible. The twelfth and final round saw Cruz continuing to go at Davis, displaying the aggression.
Late in the bout, Davis fought one-handed due to a hand injury.