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Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz target venue Staples Center, Los Angeles

Image: Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz target venue Staples Center, Los Angeles

By Dan Ambrose: The target venue for the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz is the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, according to @PugBoxing. There still isn’t a date for the Showtime televised Davis-Santa Cruz fight though, but it’s likely to take place in May. That’s when Tank Davis said he would be fighting again.

Davis’ promoter Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather Promotions says his fight will be on pay-per-view. That may be a tough sell trying to get the U.S boxing fans to purchase a fight between Davis and Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs).

Santa Cruz looked bad in his debut at lightweight last November in struggling to beat Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision. Flores came into that fight having lost 2 out of his last 4 contests, and yet he was able to fight Santa Cruz to a standstill at times. Flores isn’t even a lightweight. He fights at super featherweight, but he gave Santa Cruz all kinds of difficulties.

Tank Davis vs. Santa Cruz needs rehydration limit

Santa Cruz’s best weight class is arguably at featherweight. He’s moved up in weight to lightweight to chase a payday, but he’s likely going to be over-matched in terms of size against Davis. For that fight to make sense, there needs to be a rehydration clause, and a huge weight penalty to keep Tank Davis from enjoying a big weight advantage over Santa Cruz.

Is Davis vs. Santa Cruz pay-per-view worthy?

Usually fights that are on PPV are ones that the fans are demanding, and there isn’t a huge cry for Davis and Santa Cruz to fight each other. There are obviously some fans that would like to see those two to battle it out, but probably not enough for it to do well on pay-per-view.

For Davis to be on PPV, he needs to face someone like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez or Josh Taylor. Fighting Santa Cruz is probably going to be a fail when it comes to PPV buys.

Mayweather Promotions would be willing to take that risk of putting Davis in with Santa Cruz for pay-per-view, but it’s not likely to sell. Santa Cruz isn’t charismatic, and he lacks the popularity of former lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. That’s who Tank Davis needs for him to branch over to PPV.

Tank Davis might not be able to make lightweight

It’s a risky fight to make right now with the 25-year-old Tank Davis being unreliable when it comes to making weight. Unless they agree to have an allowance for Davis to come in ABOVE the 135 pound limit, it would be pointless for the Santa Cruz fight to happen. In Davis’ last fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa on December 28, he came in over the 135-lb limit.

Although Davis did eventually make weight, he gassed out early during the fight, and looked poor. Luckily for Tank, the 38-year-old Gamboa tore his right Achilles, and was hobbling around for the entire fight. Had this been a good fighter like Ryan Garcia, Vasiliy Lomachenko or Devin Haney, Davis probably would have lost.

If Davis keeps letting his weight go in between fights, we could soon see him at 147. Of course, he’s got the popularity where he can use his A-side pull to get super featherweights and lightweights to come up to whatever weight he ends up. You’d hate to call it the ‘Gervonta weight’ if he creates his own weight class.
Santa Cruz needs to be fighting guys like Gary Russell Jr., Josh Warrington or Carl Frampton.

Those are fighters that are in the same league as Santa Cruz, and he should be fighting them. The criticism that Santa Cruz gets is he’s won world titles against mediocre opposition, and then defended them against weak opponents. Santa Cruz has been matched well obviously, because he only has one loss. Had he been put in with better fighters like Oscar Valdez, Russell Jr., Miguel Berchelt and Shakur Stevenson, he’d likely have another 4 losses on his record.

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