By Jim Maltzman: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis feels that he’s the best fighter in the 135-pound division today, and he’s ready to take on the top guys in that division as well as at 130 after he beats Leo Sant Cruz on October 24.
Tank wants to box Leo and show off his boxing ability to the world rather than blasting him out.
After seven years as a pro, the 25-year-old Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is ready to take on the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, and Devin Haney. But that’s not all.
Davis says he’s open to fighting the best at super featherweight as well, and he’s doing that by facing WBA Super World 130-lb champion Leo Santa Cruz on October 24. Santa Cruz and Davis are currently scheduled to fight on Showtime pay-per-view at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
However, Tank Davis says he’s not going to be fighting Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) in Connecticut. He says he’d like for the fight to be moved to Los Angeles, California, as Davis wants to beat the 31-yar-old Santa Cruz in front of his own fans in Southern California.
Tank needs to make it priority one to face the 32-year-old Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) as soon as possible, being that he’s getting long in the tooth now. Lomachenko might only two to three more years as a top fighter before he starts getting beaten regularly when matched against fierce opposition.
Davis predicting an explosive fight against Leo
“Leo is going to throw a lot of punches, and I think it’s going to be a great fight,” said Tank Davis to The Pug and Copp show. “I think boxing fans will win. It’s going to be an explosive fight.
“I believe so because it’s not just me bringing the crowd. It’s also Leo to,” said Davis when asked if the Santa Cruz clash will turn him into a big star afterward. “I believe it’ll be a big fight, and a lot of people will tune in.
“Hopefully, our numbers are high on pay-per-view. I’m just excited to be on pay-per-view and fighting sone that’s not just going to be a punching bag.
“I don’t know if I’m supposed to say this, but I’m not fighting in Connecticut,” Tank Davis said. “I don’t even know where I’m fighting at. Probably 70/30 [Davis vs. Santa Cruz winds up in Los Angeles].
“I’d rather fight here anyway, given that Leo is from California. I always wanted to compete in my opponent’s backyard. You beat them up bad in front of their hometown, so it makes them feel small,” said Tank Davis.
It’s going to take more than a win over Santa Cruz for Tank Davis to become a superstar. Santa Cruz has been looking a little too faded of late for Davis to get a significant surge in popularity for beating him. What it’ll likely take for Davis t become a star is for him to beat these guys:
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Devin Haney
- Ryan Garcia
- Teofimo Lopez
- Miguel Berchelt
- Oscar Valdez
- Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz
- Jamel Herring
Unfortunately for Davis, he’s going to ruin it for himself as soon as he beats someone like Lomachenko because Top Rank promoter Bob Arum will likely clamp down on him fight any of the other fighters in his stable.
Arum isn’t going to let Tank Davis clean out his entire stable of top 130 and 135-pounders after he takes Lomachenko’s scalp.
Gervonta won’t try and KO Santa Cruz
“It would be big because that guy comes to fight,” said Davis when asked what it would be like to be the first guy to knockout Leo Santa Cruz. “He beat Adrien, and I believe he beat Gary Russell too if I’m not mistaken.
“Just beating him period would be an accomplishment. I’m definitely not going for a knockout. I’m going to show the fans that I can box.
“I showed that I could box [Jose] Pedraza, and then a couple of years ago by, and they think I don’t know how to box again, and I just slug.
“So I’m ready for this fight to show them I can do both. I’m not just a banger; I’m a boxer-puncher. That’s why the people in the gym know that, but the world doesn’t’ know that yet, or they seem to forget,” said Gervonta.
It’s easy for Gervonta to say that he won’t try and knockout Leo Santa Cruz, but when the fists start flying on October 24, we’ll see Tank go for the KO as always.
With Santa Cruz throwing at a high clip each round, it’s going to force Gervonta to go for the knockout out of survival. If Leo is going to try and throw 1,000 punches during their 12-round fight, Davis won’t have any other choice but to try and get him out fo there.
Davis had to apologize to Haymon after beating up Redkach
“I don’t know what’s going on with Ivan Redkach,” said Gervonta. “I had to apologize to Al [Haymon] that I beat him up so bad. Where I’m from, if you beat someone up so bad, you get out of the ring.
“That’s what I did. I almost knocked him out every round. So once you know your opponent can’t do anything to you and you’re not gaining anything from it, then you get out of the ring.
“I didn’t think he was close to Leo. We were also supposed to spar right after that. He needs to come down in weight, though. He should not fight at 147 or 140. Yeah, 135 for sure,” said Davis.
It wasn’t so much the beating of Redkach that Tank Davis should be apologizing for. It’s the fact that Davis posted the video of the sparring on social media afterward. Also, all the punches that Tank threw to the back of Redkach’s head was a problem.
Davis could have gotten the better of the 33-year-old Redkach by fighting fairly. There was no need for Tank to hit the Ukrainian fighter with so many rabbit punches during the sparring session, which was out of control on his end when it comes to fouling.
Tank Davis: I’m the best at 135
“I feel like I’m the best [at 135] because I’ve got the most skills,” Davis said. “You see, I’m not calling out anybody. Every other day, they’re doing interviews with my name.
“They haven’t said anyone else. This is my first interview back since I came back from boxing. I haven’t done any interviews I’m not doing any other interviews but me.
“So I don’t have time to keep talking about nobody else. That’s why I know I’m #1 because all these guys talk about me every time. They have no one else to talk about. ‘I want to fight Gervonta Davis.’
“It’s not just about skills. When they fight me, they know they’re getting their biggest paydays. They know that for sure, so that’s why I think I’m #1.
“The guy that is pound-for-pound [Vasiliy Lomachenko], he can’t even sell out an arena. Do you know where he’s fighting at? At the MGM in DC. That holds about 3,000 to 4,000 people,” said Tank.
Davis can say that he’s the best at 135, but until he beats Lomachenko, Ryan Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, Luke Campbell, and Devin Haney, he won’t be considered as the #1 guy.
No matter how much talking Tank does about being the best, he’s got to beat the top guys to take that spot. Santa Cruz isn’t a lightweight, so this fight serves no purpose in terms of proving Gervonta is #1 at 135.
Davis plans on beating Santa Cruz with his skills
“Just my skills,” said Gervonta when asked what makes him think he’ll beat Santa Cruz. “When I say I’m probably the most skilled fighter fighting on TV, I truly believe that. Of the most experienced fighters on TV right now, it’s me, Canelo, Shakur.
“Tyson Fury, he’s skillful to be a heavyweight, but I’m talking technical. There are a lot of up and coming fighters that are skillful, but I’m talking about fighters that have a name and are fighting on TV.
“We can’t say Floyd [Mayweather] because he’s not fighting anymore. We can’t say Manny Pacquiao because he’s already got his name. I’m talking about right now,” Tank said.
It could be boring if Davis and Leo get into a jabbing contest on October 24, wouldn’t it? For the sake of the paying boxing fans that order the fight on Showtime PPV, Tank needs to sit down on his punches and look to knock out Santa Cruz.
Leo will be trying his best to KO Tank, and it’ll look a little strange if Davis just boxing and not for the finish against his toughest opponent to date.
Santa Cruz is probably going to keep the action on the outside the way he did in his two wins over Abner Mares, and it’s going to be up to Tank to get in range to land his best shots.
Davis sees no reason to call out Ryan Garcia or Haney
“There’s no reason for me to call them out,” said Gervonta on Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney. “When the time comes, it’s like me giving them credit. That’s like me building them up.
“When Tevin was calling me out, and then he got beat bad by Jo Jo Diaz. Now nobody talks about him. He’s crying to get a rematch. I was damn near on my knees, begging with Al, ‘Let me fight him.’
“Al was like, ‘Listen, it’s just talk.’ That’s what I learned from it. They just talk. We’ll see when the time is right. Then that’s when I’ll start talking and going right back at them.
“Other than that, I’m fighting who’s in front of me, and I’m showing them I’m a top guy. I’m going to keep beating the hell out of the guys in front of me,” said Davis.
Gervonta should call out Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, as it looks strange that those fighters are always asking him for a fight. The perception some boxing fans have is either Tank Davis or his promoters at Mayweather Promotions don’t want to let him take on the elite level fighters.
Davis needs to fight Haney and Ryan right now if he wants to take his career to the next level. Letting those guys continually call him out without responding his a bad look for Davis.
Gervonta ready for top guys at 130 and 135
“I think I can make it,” said Davis when asked if he can make the 130-pound limit for the Santa Cruz fight. “I normally start my camps late by six or seven weeks, but now I’m doing the whole 12-week camp.
“That’s three months, and I’m going to have a nutritionist. So I should be great. I don’t like 135, to be honest. And I feel like fighting at 130. I feel light at 130. At 135, I feel a little heavy.
“I feel like I’m way faster at 130, and I feel like I’m heavy at 135. Let’s just see when me and Leo get it on. Whoever is at 135, I’m still the top guy at 135. Whoever wants it at 135, they can get it, and whoever wants it at 130, they can get it,” said Davis.
The fighters that Davis should be facing now are Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez at 130, and Lomachenko, Teofimo, Ryan, and Haney at 130.