By: Sean Crose
Leo Santa Cruz has been one of the more exciting boxers in the game for close to a full decade now, his appealing style – hand twitching tick and all – pretty much making for must see TV. Although he’s at times disappointed some fans (he arguably avoided the less than thrilling but legitimately great Guillermo Rigondeaux) Santa Cruz has nonetheless earned himself a strong reputation, not only through winning, but by successfully coming back from defeat. Indeed, the 37-1-1 Santa Cruz’ two fights with peer Carl Frampton were highly engaging affairs. Santa Cruz’ ability to win the rematch after losing to Frampton the first time around was truly impressive.
Now, however, the WBA super featherweight champion is set to face WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, a young, fast extremely hard hitting battler. Not only is Davis Floyd Mayweather’s protégé, the man has yet to lose a single fight. Some could see this battle, which will go down on Showtime the evening of October 31st, as a cashout for Santa Cruz, a decent check for doing his part in a changing of the guard ceremony. But it’s unwise to write the California native off. He may be getting on in fighter years, but the 32-year-old Santa Cruz may still have plenty of tricks up his sleeve. What’s more, having engaged extensively in high level fights most certainly will play to Santa Cruz’ benefit.
Not that the 23-0 Davis should be expected to be uneasy about entering the ring this coming Halloween night. The man’s being built up as a future star for a reason. Davis has fast, explosive punching in his arsenal, which at times is reminiscent of Roy Jones in his heyday. He also has around a seven year age advantage, which could certainly work in his favor. Still, Santa Cruz, who can throw shots fluidly, land effectively, and counterpunch with the best of them. Also worth noting is the high guard defense of Santa Cruz, which has served him well throughout the course of his career. Lastly, aside from an aging Yuriorkis Gamboa, Davis has never met a legitimate fighter of note before. Whether he wins, loses, or draws, he’ll certainly be able to say he met one on the 31st.
The Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz card will air live on Showtime beginning at 9PM eastern time on the 31st. Both the WBA super featherweight and WBA lightweight titles will be at stake.