By: Hans Themistode
The cheers were deafening the moment Gervonta Davis landed his murderous left uppercut against Leo Santa Cruz this past weekend. The Baltimore native stood on the ropes as he screamed to the San Antonio crowd who came to support their Showtime Pay-Per-View event.
Those celebrations however, were immediately truncated the moment Davis and everyone in the arena noticed that Santa Cruz was lying motionless on the canvas. A few minutes after standing in silence, Santa Cruz rose to his feet and flashed a smile as if to say he was alright.
Following the loss, the former three division world titlist was rushed to the hospital as a precautionary measure. He may have come up short in what he believes was the biggest contest of his career but with all his test results coming back clean, the Mexican native can’t help but feel thankful.
“Thank God we are fine,” said Santa Cruz to ESPN Deportes. “We are healthy, we did not come out with the victory, but we thank all the fans for their support, there good vibes, with all our hearts. He caught me, we went down, but thank God we are here.”
Before Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs) found himself on the unwanted end of a Gervonta Davis uppercut, the Mexican product was performing well. At the time of the stoppage, which occurred in the sixth round, Davis had a slim lead of 47-46 on the judge’s scorecards. In addition to their razor close fight, Santa Cruz was the aggressor at various stages. He backed up the larger Davis and teed off on several occasions.
Those shots however, were ineffective. Pair his lack of power with his false sense of belief in his chin as he was able to withstand a few big shots from Davis early on, and it ultimately resulted in his downfall.
“He wasn’t feeling my punch. He threw the uppercut on me and I was blocking it well, I didn’t feel the punch and that’s why I stayed there [in the pocket], but he threw that particular uppercut with all his force, he threw it and he hit me good. He hit me with a good punch, I don’t take anything from him, he’s a great fighter and he caught me.”
The shot which Davis landed made fans cringe in pain once it was shown on instant replay. It was the sort of shot that would seem to be unforgettable. But in the case of Santa Cruz, his reaction is the exact opposite.
“I don’t remember when he hit me, I just fell, I didn’t feel anything. It was my mistake… three right hands at the same time because he was studying it and he said he was going to counter me. I threw it and he countered me and caught me.”
It was a painful lesson for the 32 year old, but one that hasn’t come very often during the course of his career. With 14 years as a professional boxer, Santa Cruz has shown to have an iron chin. Still, with his first stoppage loss, the three division titlist isn’t sure what’s his next move.
Whether he makes another title run or simply decides to hang it out, Santa Cruz wants those who are closest to him to help him make his decision.
“The truth is I want to spend time with the family, spend time with them, rest, and the truth is I am going to talk with my team, with my father, to see what plans they have or what they want me to do, to see if I continue boxing or we retire. Let’s see what happens, let’s talk to my dad and see if we come back. Let’s see, as my mind clears, let’s see what comes next.”