Santa Cruz says Mayweather is training Tank Davis for nothing; he won’t change
By Max Seitelman: Leo Santa Cruz says that Floyd Mayweather Jr is wasting his time training Gervonta’ Tank’ Davis for their October 24th fight because he’s not going to change his fighting style.
Davis 23-0, 22 KOs) fights the same way every time, according to Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs), and that’s not something that boxing great Mayweather Jr will be able to change.
WBA’ regular’ lightweight champion, Tank Davis, is a pressure fighter, which comes straight forward, looking to annihilate his opponents as fast as possible. In contrast, Mayweather has always been a light-puncher, who has had to rely on his hand speed and excellent defensive skills to win his matches.
Tank shouldn’t change his style
For Mayweather to change Tank Davis’s fighting style, it would like trying to change his DNA. It’s not possible.
Tank is what he is, and that’s why Santa Cruz feels it’s just a big waste of time for Mayweather to train Tank. That being said, Tank is getting more media and fan attention on him with Mayweather giving him pointers, but it’s not likely to result in Tank coming out look like a copy of Floyd Jr.
Adrien Broner is an example of a fighter that copied Mayweather’s fighting style and had success with that style. With Broner, he would have done just as well if he’d fought in another way rather than copying Mayweather’s class.
Tank Davis and Santa Cruz be fighting on Showtime/Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view on October 24. Santa Cruz, 31, will have his WBA Super World 130-lb title on the line for the fight.
Also, Tank Davis’ WBA’ regular’ lightweight belt will be at stake as well, which means the winner of this fight will hold two titles in different divisions at 130 and 135. It would be great for the Davis-Santa Cruz winner to defend both belts, but that’s not likely to be the case. If Davis wins, he’s expected to vacate the WBA 130-lb title and continue to defend his WBA 135-lb belt.
“Tank is young, he has the experience and great power and everything, but I have the experience, and I’m older,” said Santa Cruz to Fighthype. “I can get him. I have to be smart and fight a brilliant fight and not get caught with those shots, and I can beat him.
Santa Cruz expects Davis to pressure him
“He’s still going to come and fight the same way as he always does,” said Santa Cruz is doubling that Mayweather is going to be able to improve Tank Davis or change his fighting style.
“Mayweather is a great fighter, and I know he has a lot to teach him. So if Tank doesn’t do it, then he’ll work for nothing.
So I think he’s going to come and fight the same way. We’re going to be smart, and we’re training in different ways. My dad is teaching me to fight him in different styles,” said Santa Cruz.
Davis might lose to Santa Cruz if he were to use the tips that Mayweather Jr is showing him, as he would get stuck into trying to box instead of slug.
The southpaw Davis lacks the height and reach to defeat a talented fighter like Santa Cruz by boxing him for 12 rounds.
Mayweather Jr has a lot of knowledge about the sport, but the things that he can teach requires a fighter to be blessed with blazing hand speed.
If Mayweather were training a Roy Jones Jr type of athlete, then his knowledge would work a lot better. But in the case of Tank Davis, he might hurt his ability to win if he has him fighting tentative like he’s walking on eggshells all night against Santa Cruz.
Leo will adapt
Fighting like that would be a disaster for Tank Davis, seeing that he would be giving away his advantages. Tank is a seek and destroy the type of fighter, and he’s not going to do well if he sits on the outside, using the flat sharpshooter style that Mayweather utilized his entire career.
Mayweather was always a fighter that was focused on winning decisions because he lacked the power to KO guys once he left the 130-lb division.
Although Mayweather did occasionally knock out guys like Ricky Hatton and Victor Ortiz at 147, he wasn’t able to KO the talented fighters.
“If one thing doesn’t work, we’re going to work with another,” continued Santa Cruz about his approach to his fight with Tank Davis. “We’re going to adjust up there, and hopefully, we give a great fight for the fans.
“That’s what we want, and we’re going to provide a fantastic night for the fans, and that’s it. I like the fans to go into the fight.
“There’s nothing like having live fans supporting you, screaming for you. Fighting without fans is going to be a little bit different, but we’ve got to do it. That’s the job we’ve got to do to fight without the fans,” said Santa Cruz.
There are only so many things that Santa Cruz can try to do against Tank Davis that will help him win. One thing is for sure.
Santa Cruz is not going to be able to stand and slug with the southpaw Davis and beat him at his own game on October 24, as he doesn’t hit hard enough.
Options for Santa Cruz against Tank:
- Hit and move all night
- Stay on the outside
- Use his jab
- Don’t fight on the ropes
- Hold whenever Tank gets close
- Extend his left arm far in front of him
Gervonta can do damage
Santa Cruz needs to make sure that Tank Davis doesn’t get close enough for him to land frequently, as he won’t last long if he’s able to get to him.
Leo just moved up to 130 in his last fight in November against Miguel Flores, and he longed underwhelming. The power wasn’t there for Santa Cruz, and he was getting hit a lot by a fighter that had a 2-2 record in his last four fights coming into that contest.
The World Boxing Association arguably shouldn’t have sanctioned the Santa Cruz-Flores fight for their WBA Super World 130-lb title because Flores didn’t deserve to be fighting for a title based on his recent struggles.
Santa Cruz was a much better fighter at 118 and 122, and he doesn’t look like he’s well-suited for the 130-lb division. That’s why few boxing fans are giving him any chance of beating Davis.
They see this fight as a traditional turning over of the WBA belt. If nothing else, it’ll be an excellent cash-out fight for Santa Cruz if he loses.
He’ll make enough money to retire on, but his career won’t be over. He can still move back down to 126 or 122 and do well, but the money won’t be the same in those weight classes.
Regis Prograis added to the undercard
Former WBA light-welterweight champion Regis Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) has been added to the Santa Cruz vs. Tank Davis undercard. Prograis will be fighting Juan Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
The 31-year-old Prograis will be fighting for the first time since his loss to Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series 140-lb tournament on October 26 last year in London, England.
Prograis lost his WBA 140lb title by a close 12 round majority decision. If Prograis has stayed on the outside and pot-shotted the slower Taylor, he might have won the fight.
Taylor was only effective on the inside, and Prograis made the error of staying in close for the first seven rounds. It wasn’t until the eighth that Prograis finally figured out that Taylor was too talented to compete within close.
- Gervonta Davis to challenge Mario Barrios for WBA 140-lb title in summer
- Santa Cruz: Ryan Garcia needs more experience for Tank Davis
- Leo Santa Cruz calls out Oscar Valdez, says it’s perfect style match-up
- Gervonta Davis fight announcement in a few days