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Devin Haney analyzes Tank Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz

Devin Haney Gervonta Davis Leo Santa Cruz

By Dan Ambrose: Devin Haney is leaning towards Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis beating Leo Santa Cruz for their still unscheduled fight. WBC lightweight champion Haney feels that Tank (23-0, 22 KOs) will have too much size and power for Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) for when they meet up.

The power, size, and youth of Tank Davis are going to give Santa Cruz nightmares. With the way that Santa Cruz tends to lead with his face when he’s on the attack, it means he’s going to get hit an awful lot by David. Santa Cruz does have a good chin, but he may have found a guy that has too much power for him to take.

Davis-Haney still doesn’t have a scheduled date, and they haven’t agreed on what weight class the fight will take place. Santa Cruz, 31, only recently moved up to 130 in his last fight against Miguel Flores on November 23.

Devin Haney Gervonta Davis Leo Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz coming off a poor performance against Flores

He didn’t shine against Flores, who had lost two out of his last four fights coming into that contest. The way that Santa Cruz struggled in his debut at 130, he’s going to be too small for Tank Davis if he moves up to 135 to face him.

That might be the main reason why Santa Cruz is digging his feet into the sand, insisting that Tank Davis come down to super featherweight [130] to face him.

“Santa Cruz is a very disciplined fighter. He’s a good fighter, and he’s got a lot of experience,” said Haney to Fighthype. “I think it’s a good fight. He’s [Santa Cruz] a smaller guy. I feel like Tank is a bigger guy, fighting at 130. He’s killing himself to make the weight.

“I got to lean towards Tank, but Santa Cruz is a true champion. Possibly,” said Haney when asked if Gervonta could gas out in the second half against Leo.

Tank is a two-time super featherweight champion, so he should be able to make weight for the division still. However, the 25-year-old Davis hasn’t fought at 130 since July of last year in July in stopping Ricardo Nunez in the second round.

Since then, Gervonta has fought only once, stopping former WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in the 12th round last December at 135. Davis had a monstrously tricky time making the 135-lb limit for the Gamboa fight, and it required that he be weighed two times before he finally made the weight.

Tank Davis’ punching power makes him dangerous

That was Tank Davis’ debut at 135, and it’s troubling that he’s ALREADY having problems in the new weight class in making weight.

“Santa Cruz is always in the gym, always working,” said Haney. “We haven’t seen that from Tank, but you never know. Tank is a big puncher, and he may go in there and land one big punch, and it’ll be all over.

Devin Haney Gervonta Davis Leo Santa Cruz

“With Tank, you can never count him out because he’s got that punching power. Even if he gets tired, you never know. It only takes one from Tank,” said Haney.

Tank Davis vs. Gamboa was a strange fight, though, as Yuriorkis was hurt from the second round from an Achilles injury. With the injury, Gamboa was fighting defensively and not going on the attack.

When Gamboa finally did come out of his shell to attack Tank in round twelve, he was quickly knocked out. If Gamboa had fought more aggressively early on, Tank would have likely stopped him.

Santa Cruz’s style of fighting is going to get him in trouble almost immediately against Tank Davis, and we could see an early knockout. If Santa Cruz fights defensively, then that’ll give him a shot at winning. Further, if Santa Cruz can get Tank Davis to agree to come down to 130 to face him, it could benefit him if he’s weight-drained.

Haney sees Tank and Ryan Garcia as his biggest fights

“Yeah,” said Haney in responding to the question of whether he and Tank are the most significant fight at 135. “Ryan Garcia too. And Ryan is in the mix too.”

Interestingly, Haney doesn’t mention IBF lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez, as a potential opponent for him. Lopez was calling Haney out recently and daring him to fight. The reaction that Haney gave to Teofimo calling him suggests that he doesn’t want any of that smoke, and you can’t blame him.

Devin Haney Gervonta Davis Leo Santa Cruz

Ryan Garcia has been ordered by the World Boxing Council to face #1 Luke Campbell for the interim WBC 135-lb title. The winner will be the mandatory challenger for Haney.

More than likely, Haney will face the winner of the Campbell vs. Ryan Garcia fight in 2021. Tank Davis might have a shot at fighting Haney next year, but more likely, that fight won’t happen until 2022.

 


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