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Gervonta Davis’ next fight to be on pay-per-view, possibly against Leo Santa Cruz


By Matt Lieberman: Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe states that newly crowned WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) will be fighting next on pay-per-view. He’s not saying who Davis’ opponent will be, but it’s widely believed that it’ll be Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs).

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Tank Davis needs an opponent with a household name

It’s important that Mayweather Promotions selects a fairly popular fighter from 126 to 135 lb weight classes for Tank Davis to fight, because they want this to be on pay-per-view. Davis, 25, hasn’t built a huge fan base yet for him to be fighting on PPV, so it’s going to be essential that his opponent be popular.

The problem with Santa Cruz, 31, being picked for Davis to fight is the fact that he’s not a huge name either. Although Santa Cruz has accomplished a lot in winning world titles in three different weight classes, he’s not a PPV attraction.

WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. said this week that Al Haynon has already promised him that he’ll be fighting Santa Cruz next, as long as he wins his next fight on February 8 against Tugstsogt Nyambayar.

Gary Russell Jr. expects to fight Santa Cruz soon

Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KOs) won’t be happy if Haymon fails to produce Santa Cruz as his next opponent He says that if Haymon doesn’t get him the Santa Cruz fight, then he might sign a one-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to potentially face IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer.

If Mayweather Promotions aren’t able to get Santa Cruz, then they may need to be inventive to find someone with a name. It’s unlikely boxing fans would be willing to pay to watch Davis fight Robert Easter Jr., Jorge Linares or Luke Campbell.

If Mayweather Promotions are willing to match Davis against a light welterweight, then they would have a ton of good options. These are some of the interesting 140-lb fighters that would likely jump at the chance to fight Tank Davis:

  • Regis Prograis
  • Josh Taylor
  • Ivan Baranchyk
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Subriel Matias
  • Pablo Cesar Cano

Gervonta’s problems making weight

It would be better for Tank Davis to fight someone from the 135 or 140-lb weight divisions rather than picking Santa Cruz due to his issues with making weight. Given how fat and out of shape Davis looks in between fights, his days are numbered at fighting at 135.

Tank Davis came in overweight at 136 1/2 lbs in his weigh-in attempt for his last fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa on December 28. Although Davis did eventually make weight on his second weigh-in attempt, it still looked badly that he failed to make weight the first time around.

Two years ago, Davis lost his IBF super featherweight title on the scales when he weighed 2 lbs over the limit at 132 lbs for his title defense against Francisco Fonseca.

Davis needs to consider moving up to 140 soon, because it’ll look bad for Showtime if he keeps missing weight. The last thing they need is another Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Davis is still winning, but he’s arguably too big for the weight division he’s fighting in right now.

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