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Santa Cruz says he’ll slug with Tank if he can handle his power

Image: Santa Cruz says he'll slug with Tank if he can handle his power

By Aragon Garcia: Leo Santa Cruz says he may scrap his plans to box Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and choose to slug with him on Halloween night on October 31st if he can take his power.

As of right now, WBA super featherweight champion Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will box Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) from the outside, and stay away from any exchanges until he feels it’s safe to trade.

Santa Cruz, 32, and Davis will be shown on SHOWTIME pay-per-view from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The fight will occur in front of a live crowd, which could be as much as 15,000 fans. They’ll be separated as part of the safety protocols.

Gervonta, 25, is the favorite heading into the contest, but you can’t rule out a victory for Santa Cruz. He’s a high-volume puncher who is fighting in his weight class.

What we saw from Davis with him running out of gas against Yuriorkis Gamboa last December, suggests that he could fall apart after six rounds if Leo forces him to fight hard.

Image: Santa Cruz says he'll slug with Tank if he can handle his power

Gervonta vs. Santa Cruz won’t be boring

“Everything we’ve asked of him, he’s done, and he’s in tremendous shape,” said Leonard Ellerbe during a news conference on Tuesday talking about Tank Davis. “He wants to put on one of the best performances of his life. Come October 31st; I’m very confident that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

“I’m glad early on that I was able to take Tank to other places. These were things that we talked about, and one of the things I talked about is ‘the fans can’t fight for you,'” said Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“We want the boxing fans there. If it’s for Leo, then so be it. If it’s fro Tank, then so be it. We want the fans there. This fight would be extremely boring without fans. I can’t say boring, but it’s going to be a lot more exciting with fans.

“You can’t even put the world boring with none of these fighters. Leo has a high volume, and he’s a tough competitor. Both of these guys should be ranked in the top ten pound-for-pound, in my opinion.

“As far as the fans, we’re going to be down in San Antonio, and I know many Hispanics down in San Antonio. So most likely, they’ll be rooting for Leo,” said Mayweather.

With the way Santa Cruz and Davis, both fight, this fight will be anything but boring. Santa Cuz will initially make it kind of dull if he stays on the outside, jabbing the way he did in his first fight against Abner Mares.

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Santa Cruz has excellent boxing skills, and he’s quite capable of beating Davis by a decision if he stays on the back foot for 12 rounds. The former two-division world champion Davis has never met up with a fighter with Santa Cruz’s talent before.

Leo might slug with Davis

“I think the fans are going to be 50-50 because Tank is a great fighter, great skills and a lot of Hispanics want to see him fight too,” said Santa Cruz. “So I think the fans are going to be 50-50 for both of us.

“We have to fight from the outside because we know that Tank can hit, and we know that if he catches me, he can hurt me. So I’m going to try and box for 12 rounds, but you know me, I’ll try and give the fans a great fight.

“I think I’m going to go in and brawl with him, and give it a great fight and exciting fight back and forth, throwing punches,” said Leo. “But if I feel I can take his punches, then I’m going to stay there and make it a fight.

“But if I feel he can hurt me, then I’m going to be smart and fight the perfect fight and go out there and make it the 12 rounds,” Santa Cruz said.

That would be a huge shock if Santa Cruz takes the fight to Davis and gets the better of him on October 31. It would be a fight that resembled Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ contest on October 30, 1974.

In that famous bout, Ali played rope-a-dope for the first five rounds, tiring the younger, more powerful Foreman. After the fifth, Ali took over the fight, and went after the exhausted Foreman and stopped him in the eighth round. Will we see Santa Cruz do the same thing to Tank Davis?

Image: Santa Cruz says he'll slug with Tank if he can handle his power

Davis ready to put on a great performance

“I can’t say what he can take until we get in there, but I’m just more focused on putting on a great show and putting on a great fight,” said Tank Davis.

“Once again, that’s what the fans want that tune in on pay-per-view. I’m just blessed to be here and happy to be here.

“I want to put on a great performance. That’s why I’m working so hard in camp to give my appreciation back to my team for putting me on this platform.

“I’m definitely working hard every day, and come October 31st; you definitely don’t want to miss it, said Gervonta.

Tank has the power and youth advantage in this fight, and he’ll likely outweigh Santa Cruz on the night of the fight. But being bigger and stronger doesn’t mean that Davis will win.

Gervonta has shown some serious issues with his weight in the past, and he had problems making 135 last December for his match against Yuriorkis Gamboa. That was Davis’ first fight at lightweight, and it was a bad sign that he was already struggling with the weight.

There are already many boxing fans that have grave doubts about Davis’ ability to get down to 130 for the Santa Cruz fight. The fans who think Davis will make the weight feel that he’ll be drained after doing so.

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We’ll see what happens. But right now, you can’t rule out Davis being depleted and fighting on fumes after four or five rounds against Leo.

Mayweather won’t reveal his advice to Tank

“I’m proud of both fighters for stepping up and taking this fight,” Mayweather said about Davis and Santa Cruz. “I’m always giving Tank a lot of advice, and the advice that I give him isn’t for everybody.

The advice that I give him, I can’t reveal it. ‘What’s the game plan?’ you guys ask. Do you think I got to give my game plan? Every time I went out there and spoke to the media, they wanted my game plan.

“I never really gave my game plan because you don’t give your game plan. Your game plan is for yourself, but you guys will eventually see the game plan. Even with me, I was always very versatile when I was fighting.

“What a lot of people don’t know is Leo is versatile. Leo showed one time that he could box on the move. And even with Tank, many people don’t know that his boxing skills are really better than his power.

Image: Santa Cruz says he'll slug with Tank if he can handle his power

“He hasn’t had to use his boxing skills, but Tank can really box his a** off. When we’re in a boxing gym, we tell Tank a lot of time, ‘stop resorting to using your power. Use your boxing skills,’ and that’s what Tank did in this training camp,” said Mayweather.

It doesn’t matter that Mayweather isn’t revealing what the game plan is for Tank against Leo because we already know what he’s going to do. Davis fights the same way every time, and he’s not going to change his fighting style for the Santa Cruz match.

Davis’ basic DNA is that of a slugger, and he’s always going to be that way. He’s like a smaller version of George Foreman, and he only knows how to fight in that style. One of these days, Davis’ one-dimensional manner of fighting is going to catch up to him, and his career will quickly go down the drain.

Mayweather keeps telling Tank not to rely on his power so much, but he’s not listening. He’s going to keep fighting the way he always has, and he may pay the price for that when he gets inside the ring with Santa Cruz on October 31st.

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