Former super featherweight champ given chance for more title glory against WBO No.2-ranked prospect
Former world champion Antonio Davis (28-6, 13 KO) has taken another step to recapturing the super featherweight crown after cementing a deal to fight Luis Cruz (18-0, 14 KO) in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sep. 10.
The bout will be featured on the HBO-hosted undercard of IBF and WBA super featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa’s matchup with Daniel Ponce De Leon, though it is not currently scheduled to be televised.
Davis’s opponent, ranked No.2 in the world by the WBO, represents a significant challenge for the Atlanta, Ga. , native. Cruz has been taken the distance only four times in his fledgling professional career, which is garnering attention after winning the WBO Latino super featherweight belt earlier this year with a unanimous decision over Martin Honorio.
And while Davis concedes a height and age advantage to the 25-year-old, he feels his considerable experience will prove decisive in unlocking the undefeated Puerto Rican.
“Luis has a lot of potential and is an exciting prospect, no doubt about it,” he said. “However, as a former world champion, I know what it takes to win big fights, and can draw from those valuable lessons. Luis doesn’t have that advantage.”
Since winning the IBA super featherweight title in 2005, Davis has experienced mixed fortunes in the ring. Losses to Joan Guzman and Steve Luevano for the WBO super featherweight and featherweight belts, respectively, preceded a stinging fourth-round TKO to Humberto Soto for the WBC crown.
However, “T-Rex” is eager to rebuild his title credentials. In April, he became the first winner of the Georgia Boxing Championship lightweight title with a convincing display against Jamar Saunders. Another points-decision win over stubborn veteran John Trigg followed, helping land Davis a trip to Atlantic City.
Should he overcome Cruz, the possibility of a title fight looms large.
“Becoming a world champion again is my ultimate ambition,” he said. “A win over Luiz will present a giant step closer to achieving that goal. I expect nothing but a tough fight in Atlantic City, but I will be prepared and, mark my words, will prevail.”