By: Sean Crose
Sitting on stools on a largely empty stage, Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz answered questions from Brian Custer on Thursday as part of the lead up to their pay per view showdown Saturday night. It was eerie, seeing the event go down before a colorful backdrop with no fans or media to be seen. This, however, is an eerie time. With that in mind, both Davis and Santa Cruz came across as gentlemen athletes willing to let their fists do the talking this weekend. “I don’t think it has to be a knockout,” Davis said when asked if he needed a knockout to satisfy his fans. “I just think I have to go out there and put on a great performance.”
Santa Cruz made it clear that he’s apt to want to brawl with Davis, but that his father’s advice is going to be what he wants to listen to. “We’re going to find way to beat him,” he said. Admitting that the fans want a war, Santa Cruz confessed that he would have to fight the temptation to trade punch for punch with Davis. “I know with Tank I can’t do that,” he said. “I’ve got to fight smart.” As for Davis, he openly acknowledged how important it is for him to make weight during Friday’s weight in. He’s going down from the 135 lb division to a 130 lb weight limit for this fight, after all.
“Weight is great,” he said. “Tomorrow we just gotta see.” Then, as if to rid observers of any doubt as to how serious he takes the matter, Davis added: “I definitely gotta make it.” There was no doubt, however, that both men exuded confidence. “Me and my team decided to move my camp to Vegas to have a perfect camp,” Davis said. “We know that Leo’s going to come with punches and I’m going to come explosive.”
Both fighters were also openly appreciative of the opportunity they have been presented with. “When I was a little boy,” said Santa Cruz, “I wanted to be on this stage I wanted to be a pay per view fighter and now I’m living the dream.” Davis was succinct about matters. “I’m well prepared,” he said. “I’m happy. I’m grateful.” In truth, the entire press conference was polite and rather subdued. That’s not entirely a bad thing, especially when it’s clear that the fighters in question can excite with their skills on Saturday rather than with their mouths.
“October 31st Saturday, it’s going to be explosive,” said Davis.
The Davis-Santa Cruz match will be aired live on pay per view and will be for Davis’ WBA lightweight title and Santa Cruz’ WBA super featherweight title. The bout will be a scheduled 12 round affair.