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Gervonta Davis too powerful for Leo Santa Cruz – knockout highlights

Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz boxing photo

By Chris Williams: Leo Santa Cruz thought he could stand in there and slug toe-to-toe with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis to tire him out, but he paid a heavy price in getting knocked cold in the sixth round on Saturday night in front of a shocked crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Even after Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) hurt Santa Cruz (37-2, 19 KOs) in the sixth round, Leo continued to slug with him while he was backed up against the ropes. A split second after Santa Cruz threw a nice right hand, Davis laid him out with a beautiful left uppercut.

It’s unbelievable that Santa Cruz’s trainer was on board with him choosing to go to war with Davis. That game plan had trouble written all over it, and it was only a matter of time before Leo was knocked out.

Chris Williams saw a knockout coming as early as the second round when he saw Santa Cruz battling the much stronger Tank in the trenches, and taking big shots. There was a lot of overconfidence with Santa Cruz that made him want to punch it ut with Davis and treating him like he were one of his mediocre opponents.

Tank wants to keep both WBA titles

“I want to maintain both belts. Whatever decision me and my team comes up with, we’ll go with it,” said Davis. “I’m not ducking or dodging anybody. I’m a pay-per-view star. Everybody knows I’m number one and I showed it tonight.”

Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz boxing photo

It’s going to be hard for Tank to be constantly moving back and forth between the 130 and 135-lb weight class. It’s very likely Davis will give up his WBA super-featherweight title before long.

Not only will it be hard on Davis’ body to continue to return to the 130-lb division, but also there’s no one to fight in that weight class. The best fighters at 130 with Top Rank and Davis aren’t going to fight them. The money fights are at 135 for Tank, not at 130.

The fight that Mayweather Promotions wants next for Tank is unbeaten lightweight Ryan Garcia.

On social media, Ryan always made it clear on Saturday night that he wants to fight Tank Davis next.

Ryan would be an even easier fight for Tank Davis than Santa Cruz was tonight. But for Ryan, he likely sees the dollar signs that he’d be bringing in with a fight against Tank. If Ryan makes over a million for Davis’s fight, it’ll be worth it for him.

If Tank doesn’t fight Ryan, there would be a lot of interest in a fight between him and IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. That would be a fight where Mayweather Promotions would need to negotiate with Top Rank to make it happen, but it’s possible that they would give Teofimo the green light to make it happen.

Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz boxing photo

Santa Cruz was trapped in the corner

In the sixth round, the knockout shot from Davis sent the 32-year-old Santa Cruz down on his back with his right leg buckled underneath him.

The knockout was what Mayweather Promotions were hoping for and needed to create some noise about the event. Whether the pay-per-view buys from the $74.99 Davis vs. Santa Cruz event will bring in huge numbers won’t be known for some, and the general public might not ever find out the buy totals.

Davis-Santa Cruz fought in front of a crowd of 9,024 at the Alamodome, which is a good number considering that this was Halloween during the pandemic.

For Davis and Santa Cruz, this was their first time fighting on pay-per-view in a headliner. It might Santa Cruz’s last unfortunately unless he can turn his career around, and who knows if he’ll ever be able to do that.

“The uppercut wasn’t the key coming into the fight, but I adapted to what he was bringing,” said Davis. “I knew he was taller and crouching down and moving forward.

“Once he moved forward, I tried to jab and make him run into the shot. He was right there for it. He punches, but he doesn’t try to get out of the way. There was nowhere for him to go on that knockout because I got him into the corner,” said Davis.


Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz boxing photo

In the lead-up to the fight, Santa Cruz spoke of boxing Davis from the outside so that he could avoid getting hit by his huge shots, but he didn’t do that on Saturday. Santa Cruz stood and slugged with Davis, taking wicked shots, but dishing out a lot of punishment as well.

Leo thought he could wear Davis down

According to Andre Ward, Santa Cruz thought he could wear Davis down by brawling him in the first six rounds so that he could take advantage of that in the second half of the fight.

It was the wrong move for Santa Cruz to take. He fought Davis’ fight, and the outcome was predictable. If you mess around with a knockout artist and fight their fight, the chances are high you’re going to lose.

Santa Cruz lost his WBA super featherweight title in the defeat, but if Davis doesn’t hold onto the belt, Leo can scramble after it. It might not be worth the trouble to recapture the belt if it means that Santa Cruz has to take on #1 WBA Chris Colbert.

That would be a really tough fight for Santa Cruz, especially with him coming off of a brutal knockout like the one that he suffered tonight.

In the post-fight news conference, Tank’s face looked badly marked up from the many shots that he was eating in this fight. You could tell this was not an easy match for him. If Tank’s face looked like this from just six rounds with Santa Cruz, you can imagine what it would have been like it he had done a full 12.

Moving forward, Tank needs to work on his defense before he considers facing the likes of Teofimo Lopez at 135 or Ryan Garcia. Those guys can punch and they’ll certainly take advantage of his flaws on defense.

As far as Santa Cruz goes, if he’s going t continue to brawl with his opponents, he’s not going to have much success with the remainder of his career.

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