- Gervonta “Tank” Davis recorded a sixth-round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night.
- Davis retained his WBA (regular) lightweight title while annexing Santa Cruz’s WBA (Super) Super featherweight championship.
- With the victory, Davis could be looking at a showdown with unified lightweight king Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Gervonta Davis delivered a knockout of the year candidate on Saturday night.
Fighting the tough and game Leo Santa Cruz, Davis came up big in the biggest stage he’s ever performed at. Showing patience in the early stages of the fight, Davis unloaded an uppercut from hell that literally knocked Santa Cruz out:
That [email protected] scores a round 6 knockout over @leosantacruz2. #DavisSantaCruz pic.twitter.com/ACkG813oAu
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) November 1, 2020
Entering the fight, Santa Cruz had lost just once in his career and that was a close and debatable majority decision loss to Carl Frampton in their first bout in 2016. Santa Cruz avenged that defeat, defeating Frampton by a similar majority decision in their rematch six months later.
Santa Cruz entered the fight as the WBA (super) super featherweight champion. Davis was the WBA (regular) lightweight champion. The bout was the first two-division championship since Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana and only the third overall in the history of boxing. By beating Santa Cruz, Davis also becomes the first fighter to win titles in two divisions in one fight since Sugar Ray Leonard beat Donnie Lalonde for the WBC super middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
Launched To Superstardom
The fight lived up to the hype. It had the perfect recipe for an explosive fight that could put boxing back in the spotlight. Santa Cruz is known for his high volume and pressure style of fighting. Davis is known for his power and his ability to deliver knockouts. Both fighters stood in front of each other and went toe to toe for five rounds. The same happened in the sixth but with Santa Cruz caught against the ropes, Davis unloaded a monster uppercut that knocked that ended the night early.
It wasn’t that Santa Cruz was totally outclassed. In fact, Davis led by just one round (48-47) in all judges’ scorecards after five rounds. Santa Cruz outlanded Davis in half of the six rounds, including the fatal sixth round. The Mexican outlanded Davis 97-84 in total punches but despite getting outgunned by the busy Santa Cruz, Davis’ power was the difference the fight.
Davis’ victory can be likened to Terence Crawford’s star-making knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014. That win launched Crawford to superstardom and look where Bud is right now. For Davis, it was the first time that he headlined a pay-per-view event and he didn’t disappoint. Those who didn’t but the PPV must be regretting their decision right now. It was one of the most explosive events of the year with Mario Barrios, Regis Prograis, and Isaac Cruz also delivering knockouts in the same fight card.
Davis’ win comes at a division stacked with talent. There are so many young and up and coming fighters in the sport right now and interestingly, many of them are in the lightweight division. The likes of Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, Ryan Garcia, and Teofimo Lopez Jr. all fight in this division and they all present an interesting challenge for Davis.
Lopez recently became unified champion when he unseated Vasyl Lomachenko in a twelve round war. After that fight, people talked about the “Takeover” that Lopez has been predicting for years. But Davis’ win made it clear that he’s right there with Lopez in superstar power.
What’s interesting about the lightweight division is that it’s not just a weight class loaded ith talent. It’s a division where the the young stars are not afraid to to take career-defining bouts. Loma vs Lopez just recently is one of those. It won’t be a surprise to see Lopez take on Davis as early as next year.