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Leo Santa Cruz wants Gervonta Davis or Gary Russell Jr. next

Image: Leo Santa Cruz wants Gervonta Davis or Gary Russell Jr. next

By Aragon Garcia: WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) says he’s going to ask his management to get him either Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis or Gary Russell Jr. for his next fight. Those are the type of guys that Santa Cruz wants for his next fight.

If it’s up to Santa Cruz, he would likely take the fight with Tank Davis, but that’s a fight that might be impossible to make right now. Davis is being matched against older guys by his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Santa Cruz might be a little too young to be seen as a good option for him. There would be a lot of interest from boxing fans if the Santa Cruz vs. Tank Davis fight did get made, but it might not be possible right now for that match to get made.

Santa Cruz showed in his win over challenger Rafael Rivera (26-3-2, 17 KOs) that he’s ready for bigger tests in 2019. Santa Cruz beat the ambitious Rafael by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. The fight was shown on FOX and Fox Deportes. Santa Cruz wants to fight WBC featherweight belt holder (29-1, 17 KOs) or Tank Davis.

It’s going to come down to what Santa Cruz’s management wants for him. It’s not entirely Santa Cruz’s call in determining his next opponent. He didn’t take much punishment in his win over Rivera, so he’ll be ready to go in the next four or five months to face Russell Jr., Gervonta Davis, Josh Warrington, Oscar Valdez or Carl Frampton. One of those fighters will be the lucky lottery winner to face Santa Cruz next.

“Those are the names that I want. I’m going to push for that fight,” Santa Cruz said when asked if he’s interested in fighting Gervonta Davis or Gary Russell Jr. next. “I’m going to tell him the names that I want, and whatever he says, we’re going to go with that,” Santa Cruz said.

Gervonta Davis might not be ready for a fighter like Santa Cruz fight now. Gervonta’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. could be the road block that ultimately keeps Santa Cruz vs. Tank Davis from happening. Davis has had activity problems with him not getting fights. If Mayweather doesn’t want to make the fight between Santa Cruz and Tank Davis, then there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. If you look at the kind of guys Mayweather has been matching Davis up against, older guys or weak punchers, it’s not likely that he’s going to want to change that style of match-making by putting him in with Santa Cruz. Some boxing fans think Mayweather is afraid to let Gervonta fight Vasyl Lomachenko for fear he gets beaten. Asking Mayweather to put Davis in with Santa Cruz could be just as problematic.

Getting Tank Davis to come down to featherweight might be asking for too much. Davis, 24, barely makes at 130 lbs at this point. Even if he did agree to take the fight with Santa Cruz at featherweight, he’d likely miss weight, and come into the fight either as a super featherweight or even a lightweight. It’s a given that Tank Davis’ days are numbered for him being able to squeeze down into the super featherweight division. Getting Davis to trim down to featherweight [126 lbs] might be asking the impossible. The only way that Santa Cruz faces Davis is if he moves up to super featherweight to challenge him for his WBA Super World title in that weight class. Davis’ promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. matches him against certain type of fighters, the type that look to slug with him or fighters that have limited boxing skills. Santa Cruz is a complex fighter, who can box as well as slug. He’s all wrong for Tank Davis, and Mayweather likely knows that. Getting Mayweather to let Tank fight Santa Cruz might be asking the impossible.

It would be nice to see Tank Davis step up to the plate to take the fight with Santa Cruz rather than him being put in with yet another obscure fighter like his last opponent Hugo Ruiz.

If Davis wants no part of Santa Cruz, then Russell Jr. would be a good option if they can get him back inside the ring. Russell Jr. fights seldom nowadays, and he might not want to fight Santa Cruz this year while he’s still resting up from his fight from last year in May. What boxing fans DON’T want to see is Santa Cruz fight Carl Frampton again. They’ve already fought one time too many in facing each other twice. There’s no interest from American boxing fans in seeing a another retread opponent for Santa Cruz. Frampton is part of the past, and he should stay that way. Santa Cruz needs new blood, be it Russell Jr., if he can get off his couch this year, Tank Davis, Oscar Valdez, or Josh Warrington.

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