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Santa Cruz: It’s going to cost Gervonta Davis if he doesn’t make weight

Image: Santa Cruz: It's going to cost Gervonta Davis if he doesn't make weight

By Dan Ambrose: Leo Santa Cruz made it clear this week that Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis will need to pay up if he fails to make weight for their October 24 fight on Showtime pay-per-view. Santa Cruz (27-1-1, 19 KOs) says it’s going to “cost” Tank Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) if he fails to make the 130-pound limit for the fight.

Davis and Santa Cruz will be squaring off in the main event on October 24. The winner will hold WBA titles at both 130 and 135, but that could be shortlived. Tank Davis will likely vacate the WBA 130lb title and continue his career at 135, which is a more natural weight for him to make.

Davis, 25, said this week that his past problems making weight were due to him getting a late start in his training camps. He’s been training seven to eight weeks for his fights, which have made it difficult to take all the weight off.

Tank to train for 12 weeks

For the Santa Cruz fight, Tank will be training 12 weeks, and he’s confident that he’ll be able to get down to the 130lb limit for the battle without any issues.

Santa Cruz and Tank Davis are fighting at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. If the 31-year-old Leo is victorious, he’ll capture his fifth division world title, something that he never dreamed of happening when he turned pro in 2006.

The World Boxing Association has decided to have Tank’s WBA ‘regular’ lightweight title on the line his October 24 fight against Santa Cruz, as well as Leo’s WBA super featherweight strap. It’s an unusual move by the WBA, but it’s been done before many years ago when Sugar Ray Leonard fought Danny Lalonde in 1988.

The Leonard-Lalonde fight took place at 168 and had both the vacant WBC super middleweight and Lalonde’s WBC 175-pound title on the line.

Image: Santa Cruz: It's going to cost Gervonta Davis if he doesn't make weight

Santa Cruz has captured world titles in the following weight classes: 118, 122, 126, and 130.  However, Santa Cruz received a massive amount of criticism from boxing fans last November when he fought Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBA Super World super featherweight title.

WBA criticized  for letting Santa Cruz fight Flores

Flores had two out of his last four fights going into the Santa Cruz fight, and yet the WBA still sanctioned the match as being for their vacant title. Boxing fans saw the WBA’s move in letting Santa Cruz face such a weak opponent as the sanctioning body giving the title to Leo.

It would have been far better if the WBA had rejected Flores as an opponent and ordered Santa Cruz to face Chris Colbert for the vacant belt. Had the WBA made that move, Santa Cruz might have lost, though, and we wouldn’t be seeing Davis-Santa Cruz.

The WBA’s decision to let Santa Cruz face Flores suggests that boxing runs more like a business than a real sport. Davis vs. Santa Cruz is a bigger fight than if Colbert were to meet Tank.

If there weren’t so many world titles available in each weight class, it’s unlikely that Santa Cruz would have captured four division titles by this time.

For him to won a world title at 126, he would have needed to beat Gary Russell Jr, a fighter that a lot of boxing fans believe he’s been ducking. Most supporters would agree that Russell Jr would beat Santa Cruz.

At 130, Santa Cruz would have needed to defeat WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt to win a title if there were only one belt available at 130.

Again, that’s a fight that Santa Cruz likely loses. The way that Santa Cruz performed against Flores with his 2-2 record in his last four matches, he would lose badly to Berchelt.

Santa Cruz: no one gives me a shot

“I am motivated and training hard for this fight. No one gives me a shot, but I am going to shock the world,” said Santa Cruz to Fight News.

“I think Gervonta Davis a great fighter, aggressive, and has great power. His style he is a lefty and fast, but we are prepared. We will look out for his power, be patient, and smart.

“I think he looks for the power shot, long as I get away from that. I have the experience. So, I think with my experience, and if I pressure him, break him down, and frustrate him,” said Santa Cruz.

The reason why boxing fans aren’t giving Santa Cruz a chance to win against Tank is that he’s moved up too many weight classes. Leo’s last performance against less than a talented fighter in Flores indicates that he’s overreached his limit in moving up in weight.

Flores is someone that should have ranked at the bottom of the WBA’s top 15, not near the top. As such, had Santa Cruz been put in the position where he needed to fight a good 130pounder like Colbert, Oscar Valdez, or Shakur Stevenson, he likely would have lost badly to all three of them.

Santa Cruz was shaky even at 126 and saw evidence of that by his decision to ignore Gary Russell Jr with his frequent call-outs.

Santa Cruz says it’ll cost Tank if he fails to make weight

“If he works hard, dedicated, and has the discipline, he will make the weight,” Santa Cruz said. “If he doesn’t make the weight. It’s going to cost him a lot.”

Even if Tank doesn’t make weight and is forced to pay a stiff penalty, that’s not going to help Leo win. Tank is wealthy enough to sacrifice a portion of his purse without it breaking the bank, and he’ll focus even more on winning.

The only thing that Santa Cruz will gain, besides money, from Tank failing to make weight is it’ll give him an excuse to tell boxing fans for why he lost. However, that kind of thing only works for impressionable fans that buy into it.

Image: Santa Cruz: It's going to cost Gervonta Davis if he doesn't make weight

For most boxing fans, they understand that a slightly overweight fighter doesn’t have much of an advantage, so they tune those kinds of things out. It would be better for Leo to take the high road and admit that he lost to the superior fighter if Tank fails to make weight but still beats him.

It always looks bad for a fighter to start grabbing at straws to make sense of what happened to them after they lose.

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