By: Hans Themistode
While he was touted as being a tough and rugged competitor, Isaac Cruz was expected to fold under the pressure of hard-hitting Baltimore native, Gervonta Davis. Despite those preconceived notions, Cruz more than held his own in front of a jam-packed crowd at Staples Center late last night in Los Angeles, California.
With Cruz’s pressure proving to be unrelenting and his chin holding up just fine to the deleterious knockout power of Davis, the Mexican product gave the heavily favored 135-pound titlist all he could handle. As the final few seconds ticked off the clock, an overjoyed Cruz raised his hands in the air, believing he had done more than enough to pocket the victory.
However, the 23-year-old was left disappointed as Davis went on to eke out a close unanimous decision. Judge Zachary Young scored their contest 116-112 in favor of Davis, while both Carla Caiz and Max DeLuca had it a bit closer, turning in idential scorecards of 115-113. Though Davis was ultimately able to preserve his undefeated record, in the opinion of Floyd Mayweather, the promoter of Davis, he doesn’t believe their contest was that particularly close.
In fact, if it was up to the newly retired Hall of Famer, he would like to see new, fresh, young blood being add to the judging pool.
“We got these judges in the fight game right now,” said Mayweather to a group of reporters. “Judges are 75 years old, 80 years old. When it’s time to hang it up, hang it up. I’m not being biased. If Tank got his ass whopped, I’m a say you know what, he got his ass whooped. There were probably four rounds that the guy could’ve got. But eight rounds he was getting outboxed.”
Unlike most bouts involving Davis, the multiple division titlist was unable to close the show. During the second half of their contest, in particular, he appeared content with boxing and moving as opposed to vehemently looking for the fight-ending blow.
Once their showdown came to a close, Davis revealed that his reluctance to seek the knockout came as a direct result of hurting his left hand. Still, while Davis saw his 16 fight knockout streak come to an end, Mayweather was proud of his young protege and his ability to adjust on the fly.
Although it may not be the sort of fighting style that everyone has grown accustomed to seeing from Davis, in the end, Mayweather believes Davis will benefit from it in the long run.
“The name of the game is boxing, not slugging,” continued Mayweather. “When boxing is all over and you hang it up like me, you still want to have your facilities. That’s more important than anything. F*ck the money. Your health is more important than anything. The name of the game is to hit and not get hit.”
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