Gervonta Davis Sends Warning To Leo Santa Cruz: “He Better Come Prepared, If Not He’s Going To Sleep”
By: Hans Themistode
Gervonta Davis is taking his showdown with Leo Santa Cruz more seriously than any other fight in his professional career. So much so, that he has moved his camp from the comfort of his Baltimore hometown to the steaming desert of Las Vegas, Nevada.
By all accounts, the move for Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has proven to be a sagacious one as he has claimed that the time away from familiar faces has allowed him to focus better than ever before. Now, with only a few days left until he takes on the four division world titlist, Davis believes his preparation will lead him to victory. For Santa Cruz on the other hand, he’ll have a quick and painful night if he hasn’t equally been as diligent in his own preparation.
“He better come prepared,” said Davis in an interview with ESNEWS. “If not, he’s going to sleep.”
For Davis, the concussive power that he brings to the ring has led to an early night whether or not his opponents have come in prepared or not. Amongst the long list of opponents that have felt his power is former two division world champion Jose Pedraza. The Puerto Rican native implemented a come forward, aggressive game plan when the two fought in January of 2017. The success however, was few and far between as Davis won their contest via seventh round stoppage.
With Santa Cruz claiming that he will implore a similar game plan in an effort to “drown,” Davis in the championship rounds, the Baltimore product is hoping that he stays true to his word.
“I see he keep talking about he’s going to press me but that isn’t going to be a good way to do it. Pedraza tried to press me and you seen the outcome.”
Whether Davis stops his man in the same fashion in which he has done most of his opponents, or if he strolls his way to a unanimous decision, the 25 year old is already looking ahead.
Roughly five weeks after his contest with Santa Cruz, Davis will have front row tickets to watch fellow 135 pounders in Ryan Garcia and Luke Campbell face off for the WBC interim title. Although he couldn’t pick a winner, Davis did make it clear that following his victory, he doesn’t plan on taking a break as he eyes the winner.
“After this fight I’m going to get right back in the gym cause I want to fight the winner between Ryan and Campbell.”
Leo Santa Cruz On Gervonta Davis Showdown: “If I Get Him Tired Then He’s Not Going To Have Any Other Choice But To Quit”
By: Hans Themistode
Leo Santa Cruz saw what everybody else saw whenever Gervonta Davis stepped foot inside of a boxing ring. A speedy fighter with enough power to knock down a building let alone an opponent.
Training camp for the Mexican product has entailed sparring much bigger opponents in order to prepare himself for the huge shots that will be coming in his direction come October 31st, from Davis.
For the most part, the grueling portion of his preparation is done and over with. Now, both he and his team are putting together the game plan needed to take down the undefeated knockout artist. It isn’t an easy task, but Santa Cruz believes he knows exactly what to do.
“I need to take away his speed and power,” said Santa Cruz to Fight Hub. “I know he’s a powerful guy. We got to be smart and not brawl with him to get hit with those big shots. We have to fight smart and fight the perfect fight.”
A perfect night at the office can be ruined with one shot. And in the case of Davis, he has more than enough power to do so. Getting hit by a fighter nicknamed Tank wouldn’t be an ideal situation. With that being said, the Mexican native is under the belief that if his chin can hold up, then he’ll turn up the heat on Davis.
“If we see that we can take his punches then I’m going to go all out. I’m going to be on top of him and break him down. Working the body and going everywhere. I won’t let him breathe or think. I know he’s not going to like that.”
A fight that features Davis normally doesn’t reach the final bell, but it’s usually the Baltimore native that’s doing the damage.
Santa Cruz may have several knockouts under his belt, but he isn’t exactly known as a big puncher. Stopping Davis dead in his tracks with one shot isn’t something that is likely to happen, but if he can string together a few hard shots, the multiple division champion is confident that he’ll have Davis screaming no mas.
“I think I can stop him by volume punching. If I get him tired then he’s not going to have any other choice but to quit.”
Gervonta Davis Isn’t Worried About Leo Santa Cruz Wanting To Play It Safe Early On: “Most Don’t Last To The Second Half Of The Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Gervonta Davis has never been a huge fan of the judges, electing to keep them out of 95 percent of his matchups. But while many applaud him for his quick knockouts, Leo Santa Cruz views that as a fatal flaw.
Just a few months ago, the four division titlist credited Davis for the usual strong start to his contests, but he also claimed that after playing it safe in the first half, he intended on “drowning,” him with nonstop pressure when they face off on October 31st.
Now, with their contest just a few weeks away, Santa Cruz didn’t back up one iota from his previous statement.
“Tank Davis is strong the first five rounds,” said Santa Cruz during a recent virtual press conference. “I know that he’s strong every round but I think the most dangerous rounds will be one through six. Those are the rounds he has the most power. But if I see he gases out I will get on top of him.”
For Davis, he really couldn’t argue with Santa Cruz when questioned about his stamina. But the Baltimore native believes there’s a good reason why he seldom makes it to the latter portion of a contest.
“Most of them don’t last to the second half of the fight,” explained Davis. “One through six, probably seven.”
When mentioning the seventh round, Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) couldn’t help but crack a smile when describing what happened the last time an opponent questioned his second half ability.
“Pedraza brought the pressure and he got stopped in the seventh round.”
That knockout over the aforementioned Pedraza gifted Davis with the IBF world title. The first of his career. Since then, he’s gone on to win six straight contests, all of course, coming via knockout. His last in particular however, brought along a few question marks.
In what most believed would be a one sided beating, Davis was matched up against the long faded Yuriorkis Gamboa three days after Christmas. The Baltimore native quickly found out that there would be no presents under his boxing tree as the 38 year old Gamboa pushed him like never before.
At several points during their contest, Davis appeared to be winded. Even telling his corner “something is wrong with my body.” With that being said, the acrimonious knockout artist found his winning shot in the last and final round.
The win may have netted him a world title in another weight class, but reactions to his showing were mostly ambivalent. That performance, coupled with his issues on the scale, may have given Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) confidence going into their matchup, but Davis says talk is cheap.
“He can say whatever he wants but he’s going to have to prove it October 31st.”
Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow Morning
By: Hans Themistode
For the first time in what feels like forever for boxing fans, tickets to a live event will be made available tomorrow morning.
For months now, COVID-19 has prevented all venues in the United States from allowing fans to witness their favorite boxers up close and personal. Yet, that is all coming to an end. At least, for one night.
At roughly 10 a.m. C.T. tickets for the highly anticipated Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz showdown which will take place on October 31st, at the Alamodome in Texas, will be made available to the public. Purchasing tickets to the event will be slightly different than what fans are accustomed to.
For starters, tickets will be purchasable through “pods,” of two and four per customer to maintain social distancing guidelines. Secondly, all fans will be screened upon entry and required to wear masks. Although an exact number was not provided in terms of available seating, the Alamodome carries a capacity of 64,000 pre COVID-19. A full house isn’t expected but several thousand seats will be made available.
“The Alamodome is excited to host the Davis vs. Santa Cruz SHOWTIME PPV event and to bring these athletes to San Antonio,” said Steve Zito, General Manager, Alamodome. “Not only is this a great platform for these athletes and their fans, but the event will also spotlight San Antonio through nationally televised matches and generate economic impact for our community during these challenging times.”
Originally, there was a belief that Davis and Santa Cruz could host their battle at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The venue has become somewhat of a de-facto home for Premier Boxing Champions as a number of their events have been held there, including a historic doubleheader Pay-Per-View card which was headlined by twin champions Jermell and Jermall Charlo.
Another possible site for Davis-Santa Cruz was an outdoor soccer stadium in Carson, California. Yet, when news broke of fans being given the green light to enter the Alamodome, the focus shifted to the Texas area.
While the thought of having thousands of fans in attendance captured most headlines, both Davis and Santa Cruz have kept their head down and continued to grind away during their respective training camps.
Due to COVID-19 ravishing through most of the boxing schedule, neither fighter has made a return to the ring this year. In back to back months late last year, the pair would go on to win their contests in impressive fashion.
For the hard hitting Baltimore native, both his power and stamina was put to the test as the long faded Yuriorkis Gamboa pushed Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) like never before. The two division world titlist would go on to bite down on his mouthpiece and push the pace during the second half however, and score a stoppage win in the final round.
Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) meanwhile, picked up the fourth world title of his career in a fairly routine win against Miguel Flores one month prior.
Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz Moves Back One Week, Will Allow Limited Amount Of Fans In Attendance
By: Hans Themistode
The wait for Gervonta Davis Pay-Per-View headlining clash against Leo Santa Cruz may be killing fans, but it appears they’ll have to wait a bit longer.
The much hyped up contest, which was due to take place on October 24th, will now take place one week later on Halloween at the Alamodome in Arlington, Texas. While fans are moaning over the decision to delay the bout, many will be thrilled to find out that an unspecified amount of fans will be allowed to attend.
News of the delay came shortly after Major League Baseball green lighted a max capacity crowd of 11,500 fans into the same arena for the National League Championship Series and the subsequent World Series.
The admission of fans inside of arena’s isn’t the only reason why the bout was pushed back.
Although Davis vs Santa Cruz is one of the more anticipated matchups left on the calendar, it faced major competition from a familiar rival. UFC President Dana White is slated to have one of his biggest events of the year when undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on interim titlist Justin Gaethje.
Handing the UFC the date all together may eliminate one threat, but Davis vs Santa Cruz will still receive plenty in the form of other boxing events taking place on that night.
Over on the other side of the world, heavyweight contenders Oleksandr Usyk and Dereck Chisora face off. Their event, however, shouldn’t clash with Davis vs Santa Cruz as the heavyweight giants should enter the ring around 5 pm eastern time, roughly six hours before Davis and Santa Cruz.
Over on ESPN though, pound for pound star Naoya Inoue takes on number one contender Jason Moloney. A quality contest on paper, but a matchup that shouldn’t deter buyers from tuning in to watch Davis vs Santa Cruz.
Leo Santa Cruz – Boxing’s Quiet Man
By: Sean Crose
He’s now 32 years old. He’s been a professional athlete for just under 14 years. He’s held major titles in numerous weight divisions and has avenged his only professional loss. There is little doubt that Leo Santa Cruz possesses a classic success story. Now, however, as a new generation of dominant boxers emerges, Santa Cruz is being viewed as a member of the sport’s old guard. That’s an odd thing for a man still far removed from 40. Still, as this exciting and soft-spoken figure heads towards the October 24th date of his next fight, it’s his opponent, the brash, 25 year old Gervonta Davis who the media has it’s eyes on.
There’s some good reason for this, of course. Davis is lightning fast and hits with power outing thunder. He’s also the younger man by seven years and has yet to lose a fight. On top of that, Davis’ legal troubles and Twitter exploits have made him the stuff of click bait. He is arguably surfing a large sized wave headed for star status. Santa Cruz, on the other hand, is boxing’s quiet man. Wins over the likes of Carl Frampton and Abner Mares have made him respected and popular rather than loved or hated. He takes things as they come, Santa Cruz. In interviews, this extremely polite man appears almost passive. Santa Cruz is, in a sense, the popular opposite of Davis…although it has to be added here that Davis himself possesses a gracious, sportsmanlike side that gets brushed away in all the hoopla.
Perhaps more than anything else, the Davis-Santa Cruz fight is being presented – by the media and boxing public if not the promotion – as a classic passing of the torch fight. Will it be, though? He may be over thirty, but fighters today fare better as they age than in previous decades. Also worth considering is the fact Santa Cruz hasn’t taken a whole lot of damage in this 39 fight career. Lastly, there’s the matter of experience. Santa Cruz has wins over Abner Mares and Carl Frampton. That’s a talent level Davis arguably hasn’t faced yet, save for Yuriorkis Gamboa, who was already creeping towards forty when Davis bested him last December.
Should Davis prevail over Santa Cruz in this young lion versus old master bout, few will perhaps be surprised. People will inevitably ask, however, where Santa Cruz will go from there. He’ll ask it himself, no doubt. You won’t see him shooting his mouth off, though, about being robbed, or about how he’s ready to come back and take on the world. That’s just not his style. No, if he loses next month, Santa Cruz will quietly move on.
Just like he will if he wins.
Leo Santa Cruz on Gervonta Davis Matchup: “No One Gives Me A shot, But I Am Going To Shock The World”
By: Hans Themistode
It isn’t a matter of if, but more so what round, will Gervonta Davis leave Leo Santa Cruz flat on his back, at least according to most. The two are scheduled to face off on October 24th, in a pay-per-view headliner for both the WBA lightweight and super featherweight world titles on the line.
A win has always been expected whenever Santa Cruz has stepped foot inside of the ring. But from the moment the ink dried on his contract to face Davis, the four division world champion became a heavy underdog.
The perpetual cheers that motivated him throughout his career, have now been replaced with worried faces and constant doubt of whether or not the Mexican native will be able to get it done on the night. Although he would much rather hear from his supporters, Santa Cruz is using his skeptics to fuel him and prove them wrong.
“No one gives me a shot, but I am going to shock the world,” said Santa Cruz to FightNews during a recent interview. “This is the biggest fight of my career. It is the fight I always wanted and the first pay-per-view that I headline. I am really excited. I am motivated and training hard for this fight.”
Words such as concussive, deleterious and destructive don’t quite illustrate the power that Davis has put on display during his seven year career. In short, he doesn’t get paid for overtime and enjoys clocking out early. With the exception of one early matchup, no Davis opponent has made it to the final bell.
Fighters in his division or even one weight class above won’t do the trick in terms of preparing Santa Cruz for what could be a painful night at the office. So instead, the four division world champion is seeking help from those several pounds north.
“Once we begin to spar I will need guys that fight at 140 or 147,” explained Santa Cruz. “I think Gervonta Davis is a great fighter, aggressive, and has great power. His style, he is a lefty and fast, but we are prepared. We will look out for his power, be patient and smart. I think he looks for the power shot, long as I get away from that. I have the experience. So, I think with my experience, and if I pressure him, I can break him down and frustrate him.”
Whether Santa Cruz looks to his left or to his right, the motivation to win his matchup with Davis can be found everywhere. Holding onto his WBA super featherweight title pushes him to train harder, but so does the constant murmurs from his doubters. The history books also fuels Santa Cruz as a win would make him the first Mexican born fighter to win world titles in five separate weight classes. Although the incentives are mouth watering, they are completely unnecessary. For Santa Cruz, he draws most of his inspiration from one source.
“My father gives me motivation,” explained Santa Cruz. “He contracted the virus not too long ago. He wasn’t doing well but he’s good now. I look at him and everything he has been through and it makes me work harder.”
Gervonta Davis On Leo Santa Cruz Showdown: “He’s Going To Bring The Best Out Of Me
By: Hans Themistode
At just 25 years of age, WBA lightweight titlist Gervonta Davis has a lot to be proud of. He’s held world titles in two separate weight classes, has sold out multiple arenas and on October 24th, the Baltimore native will make his pay-per-view headlining debut against Leo Santa Cruz.
Yet, even with opponent after opponent needing immediate medical attention following a matchup with him, Davis believes he hasn’t even come close to going into his full bag of tricks.
With secondary fighters littered across his resume, Davis has barely needed to break a sweat. There was never a need to bring his very best to the table in any of his 23 pro fights. But come October 24th, the two division world champion fully expects to switch into second gear.
“Leo Santa Cruz is tough,” said Davis to Mike Coppinger on The Pug and Copp Boxing Show podcast. “He’s going to bring the best out of me. He’s not someone that is going to sit there and just try to survive. He’s going to actually fight, so it should be a great match.”
Great would be one of the last words used in associated with a Gervonta Davis contest. With all but one of his career fights reaching the judges scorecards, the two division champion has made it look easy inside of the ring. Some of his success can be attributed to the work he has put in while no is looking.
During the build up of all of his matchups, Davis can be found in an empty gym wearing out each and every heavy bag in the facility without fear of something coming back in return. But while the constant repetitions have yielded results, Davis finds his solo gym sessions and fight night opponents all too familiar.
“I’m just excited to be fighting someone that’s not going to be just a punching bag. I definitely have to train hard. We know that Leo is a future hall of famer, so I know that he is going to come to fight.”
His opponents lack of interest in sitting in the pocket with him was especially evident in his last ring appearance, at least according to Davis.
Former multiple division world champion Yuriokis Gamboa met Davis at 135 pounds in December of 2019. With plenty of mileage on his 38 year old odometer, coupled with a torn achilles in the second round, the Cuban born native seemed gun shy throughout much of their contest. His defensive approach didn’t win him any rounds, but it did extend Davis to the 12th round for the first time in his career. The Baltimore native still managed to end the night in the final round, but he hears the chatter surrounding his performance. For Davis, the explanation as to why he found it so difficult to get rid of his man was simple.
“Gamboa was trying to survive,” explained Davis. “You know when somebody is just trying to survive they don’t throw as much. It was hard for me to catch him with shots, but with Leo, he’s going to come ready to fight.”
Gervonta Davis Looking to Prove He’s More Then Just Power Against Leo Santa Cruz: “I’m Not Just a Banger, I’m a Boxer Puncher”
By: Hans Themistode
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And for WBA super lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, he’s proven that his method of winning is picture perfect.
Facing Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) inside of the ring normally ends with a trip to the emergency room for his opponents. The Baltimore native and two division world champion is set to take on the toughest test of his career, at least on paper, in Leo Santa Cruz on October 24th on pay-per-view.
Unlike his previous opponents, Davis doesn’t seem interested in leaving him strapped to a stretcher following their contest. He’s already proven to have the sort of deleterious power that you simply can’t teach. So instead, he plans on introducing the world to the rest of his repertoire.
“I’m not trying to knock him out or things like that,” said Davis to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic. “I’m not definitely not going for the knockout, I’m going definitely trying to show the fans that I can box. So I am ready for this fight to show them that I can do both.”
For Davis, the book on his skillset has seemingly been rudimentary written by fans. See opponent, hit opponent and watch opponent fall down.
Although he can never get tired of the constant replays of his one punch knockouts, the term one trick pony comes to mind. Something that Davis vehemently wants to steer away from.
“I’m not just a banger, I’m a boxer puncher, that’s who I am. People who have been in the gym with me know that but the world doesn’t know that yet.”
Whether the fight ends with an ambulance escorting his opponent from the ring, or a lopsided decision victory on the judges scorecards, the win counts the same. A victory over Leo Santa Cruz will become a serious feather in the cap of Davis, regardless of the route to victory.
“It would be big. He’s coming to fight, that guy is coming to fight. Just beating him period would be an accomplishment.”
Ranking Premier Boxing Champions Top 5 Fights to Watch From Their Recent Schedule Release on SHOWTIME
By: Hans Themistode
Grotesque mismatches were becoming the norm in this new COVID-19 boxing landscape. Financial issues and the lack of a live audience gave promoters the right to place uninteresting matchups on television screens across the world.
While it was appreciated, fans were grinding their teeth as they saw predictable fight after predictable fight. Compelling and interesting matchups would have to wait until the back end of 2020 or worse, sometime in 2021.
For Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) however, they would hear none of it.
Earlier this week PBC announced their SHOWTIME schedule for the remainder of 2020, and it did not disappoint. Numerous championship matchups have now flooded boxing fans’ once desolate schedule. With so many interesting contests, we’ve decided to rank the best five from the group.
Every contest on the docket is worth watching, but here’s our choice for the best of the best of PBC’s SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
5. Erickson Lubin vs Terrell Gausha
Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) has been waiting to prove that he isn’t a hype job. The former ESPN prospect of the year looked to be the real deal during the early portion of his career. However, a right hand from Jermell Charlo in Lubin’s first crack at a world title in 2017, put an end to that notion. Since then, Lubin has been hard at work reshaping his image. The Florida native has picked up four straight wins with three coming via stoppage, and now finds himself in a WBC title eliminator against Terrell Gausha.
Much like Lubin, the former Olympian has done some reshaping of his own, although not as successful. After losing a one sided contest in his own bid to win a world title contest against Erislandy Lara in 2017, Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) has been both inactive, fighting only once a year, and lackluster, scoring a draw against Austin Trout in his last ring appearance.
Not only are these two fairly evenly matched, but with the next title shot up for grabs, there is plenty on the line.
4. Nonito Donaire vs Nordine Oubaali
The retirement train was thought to have long left the station with Nonito Donaire onboard. Yet, it appears that the 37 year old isn’t ready to pack up and leave just yet. After suffering losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton, Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) received a bit of luck in reaching the finals of the World Boxing Super Series in 2019.
Meeting him there, was pound for pound star Naoya Inoue. The easy win that was predicted for Inoue was anything but that as Donaire gave him the toughest fight of his life. He may have come out on the losing end, but his performance has earned him a crack at WBC belt holder Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs).
For most of his six year career, Oubaali has made it look easy. But while Donaire will walk into this one as an underdog, he has already proven that he has plenty left in the tank.
3. Jermell Charlo vs Jeison Rosario
Of all the matchups on this list, WBC titlist Jermell Charlo and his unification matchup against WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario, was the most surprising.
Rosario came out of absolutely nowhere last year when he ripped away the titles from Julian Williams. Instead of sitting back on his laurels and milking his belts for easy paydays, Rosario has decided to attempt to add even more to his hardware collection.
Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) has gotten over his Tony Harrison saga and now finds himself fighting to become a unified champion. The betting public is already backing Charlo heavily, but they did the same when Rosario took on Williams, so he has no problem with the little amount of faith shown in him.
2. Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz
For as explosive and dangerous as Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has looked during his career, fans were beginning to roll their eyes whenever a new unknown fighter stood across the ring from him. A highlight reel knockout is always waiting to happen, but resistance seldom followed.
On October 24th, however, Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will be looking to give Davis all he can handle when they face off. The four division world champion has grown tired of constant murmurs that he has eschewed the competition.
The storyline behind this one is simple. Davis has the punching power and speed on his side, while Santa Cruz is banking on his punch output and relentless pressure.
The winner of this one will have answered a ton of questions, while the loser on the other hand, will see their stock plummet.
1. Jermall Charlo vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko
Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) has gained a reputation. He’s a big puncher, aggressive personality and an unknown commodity. Even with wins over Julian Williams and Austin Trout, Charlo continues to hear the doubters. He’s asked for big name fights against the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, but you can hear a pin drop from either of those fighters in regards to interest.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) may not be the opponent that he wanted, but he is without question his toughest test yet. With two razor close decision losses to Daniel Jacobs and the aforementioned Golovkin, many believe that the Ukrainian born contender should already hold a world title. Nevertheless, he’ll pick up his third chance against Charlo on September 26th.
The intrigue surrounding this one is huge. In a contest that can be essentially decided with the flip of a coin, it ranks number one on our list of the best fights to watch on the SHOWTIME Boxing schedule.
Gervonta Davis Moves Into The PPV Spotlight With Contest Against Leo Santa Cruz on October 24th
By: Hans Themistode
The knockouts were becoming hollow for two division world champion Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs).
With each head cracking stoppage win, the Baltimore native saw his stock rise. But with inferior opponent after inferior opponent selected, boxing fans began to wonder whether or not the power is as deleterious as it appears.
Testing that theory will be four division world champion and current WBA super featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs). The two are scheduled to meet in a pay-per-view main event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on October 24th.
No fans will be in attendance on the night, but Davis will have the entire boxing spotlight all to himself.
For the better part of two years, CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe gave one resounding answer whenever the question of who would be boxing’s next pay-per-view star was asked.
“Gervonta Davis,” said Ellerbe in 2018 to Fightful.com. “In a couple of years, (Davis) will be the biggest star in the sport.”
Before Davis steps into the ring to prove Ellerbe correct, he will first have to step onto the scale at 130 pounds. The former super featherweight titlist, recently moved up to 135 pounds for his last ring outing against Yuriorkis Gamboa. Davis struggled to make the weight limit on his first attempt, before ultimately tipped the scale at 135. His contest against Santa Cruz is reportedly scheduled to take place 130 pounds.
In Santa Cruz, Davis not only has a credible opponent, but he also has one who shares a similar story. The 31 year old, has long been criticized for eschewing the competition. Matchups against champions Gary Russell Jr. and Shakur Stevenson, although very makeable, never materialized.
Now, both men will be looking to put an end to the “ducking” term that has been associated with their names.
The entirety of their fight card has not yet been finalized, but there could be another high level contest added before it is set in stone.
Leo Santa Cruz on Who he Wants Next “Gervonta is the Fight that I want”
By: Hans Themistode
When Leo Santa Cruz jumped up in weight to win the vacant WBA Super Featherweight world title late last year, he made a bit of history. Only a small group of fighters have ever gone on to become a four division champion. And even a smaller amount has accomplished it in the Mexican community.
Yet, even with another achievement under his belt, he doesn’t exactly receive all the respect that he probably feels he deserves.
The reason? A hole in his resume.
While he may have wins over Abner Mares and Carl Frampton, the fans want to see more. But if everything goes according to plan, he’ll be in the biggest fight of his life very soon.
“The plan is to fight [unbeaten former 130-pound champ Gervonta] Tank Davis. We’re going to fight at 130.I’m not that heavy right now. I’m like 140, 145 now and I am fighting at 130, so I’m not that heavy,” Santa Cruz revealed during a live chat on the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) Facebook page from his Southern California home on Wednesday.
It was the worst kept secret in all of boxing. The two were rumored to be on track for a contest this coming summer, but with COVID-19 placing things on hold, who knows when it could possibly take place.
A date may not be set in stone anymore, but both men want it next.
For Davis, he’s in the same boat as Santa Cruz. He’s clearly got star power written all over him but with no signature wins under his belt, there are still a few questions.
In his last contest, he moved up from 130 to 135 to take on long faded former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa. Sure he scored the knockout win, but he didn’t look impressive. While Davis would like to get comfortable at his new weight class, if he wants a big fight with Santa Cruz, it seems as though his run at 135 will have to be put on pause.
“We’re not going to go up to 135 right now. We want to fight at 130. That’s the plan.”
“135 would be a tough fight because I would be giving away a weight advantage to Tank Davis,” admits Santa Cruz. “I think 130 is our weight and I think I have a great chance there at 130. I’ve been staying in the gym, we’ve been busy. Gervonta is the fight that I want. Hopefully it gets made.”
PBC on Fox Preview: Leo Santa Cruz vs. Rivera, Figueroa vs. Molina
By: Hans Themistode
After fighting just once in 2018 WBA Featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) will be looking to have a much more active year. It’ll start this Saturday night when he take on Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17 KOs) at the Microsoft Theater in California.
A win for Santa Cruz will be the fourth defense of his title and undoubtedly bring him the big fights that he always wants to be apart of. That win won’t exactly come easy no matter what the critics say.
Rafael Rivera is getting the opportunity of a life time as he is replacing the injured Miguel Flores who suffered an ankle injury. Rivera will be looking to create a major upset. Time and time again we have seen champions over look their opponents and suffer the price for it in the ring. It is no secret that Santa Cruz is on the verge of a unification fight with current WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. A loss Saturday night puts an end to that dream.
It will be an uphill climb for Rivera from the very beginning as the champion will have the edge in just about every category imaginable. That however does not mean he has no path to victory. This will be Rivera’s first crack at a world title. If recent history tells us anything then it will show us that there has been plenty of recent massive upsets to be wary of.
The story seems to be telling us that Leo Santa Cruz will have an easy time in their on Saturday night but often times in boxing the story never quite goes as planned.
While Leo Santa Cruz and Rafael Rivera battle it out for gold both Omar Figueroa Jr (27-0-1, 19 KOs) and John Molina Jr (30-7, 24 KOs) will be looking to reinsert themselves in the title hunt at the Welterweight division.
Both men have been hit with the inactivity bug as they have not competed since 2017. This is a clash of two men with similar fighting styles as they both enjoy coming forward and look for the knockout at all times.
At age 36 and coming off the longest layoff of his career Molina Jr needs a big performance to place himself back in the thick of things as a true contender. For Figueroa Jr he has looked impressive in his career thus far. Unfortunately he has lost plenty of years because of a lack of activity. This will be the second time in his career that he will have not fought for over a year and a half. At age 29 he is still in his prime and has plenty of time to fulfill the promising potential that he has continued to flash.
A loss for either man will be difficult to bounce back from. A win however can place one of these fighters back on track to a world title shot.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Atlantic City, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Bute, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Atlantic City, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Bute, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 22nd to November 29th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kovalev vs. Ward Does 160,000 PPV Buys
Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV numbers have been reported by RingTV as coming in at 160,000 PPV buys. These numbers aren’t really surprising, and the Pacquiao vs. Vargas bout almost doubled the number of buys at approximately 300,000.
The financial incentive might not be there for Andre Ward to pursue a rematch with Sergey Kovalev based on these low numbers.
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announces their 2017 Class
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) today announced the first 24 members into its class of 2017. This epic event will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Memorial Day Weekend; May 26, 27 and 28, 2017.
The Claridge Hotel serves as the signature Corporate Sponsor for this knockout weekend and will host an exciting itinerary for guests that will include: a red carpet meet and greet, invitation only rooftop cocktail reception, and an Ultimate Fight Fan Experience Expo (an interactive boxing and entertainment experience with exhibits, merchandise and memorabilia from top fighters and brands available for purchase and photo opportunities and autograph sessions) that is open to the general public.
“This is an excellent class of inductees each-and-every one of these individuals are well deserved and have done remarkable things to help Atlantic City be recognized as a top boxing destination,” said Ray McCline
President and Founder of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Inductees to Atlantic City Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) are named in six categories and selected by ACBHOF’s esteemed committee.
Fighter inductees are Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Levander Johnson, Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Quai, Micheal Spinks, and Larry Holmes. Trainer and cutman inductees are Lou Duva, Mike Hall Sr., and Bill Johnson. Promoter, manager, advisor, matchmaker, and ring announcer inductees are Don King, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, and Russell Peltz. Commission judges, doctors, and referees inductees are Larry Hazzard Sr., Steve Smoger, and Dr. Frank Dougett. Media indcutees are Bert Sugar, Dave Bontempo, and Jack Obermayer. Special coordinator inductees are Ken Cordon, Bob Lee, and Dennis Gomes.
“This is the vein that carries the life blood of boxing which pumps into the hearts of millions around the world,” said Rodrick Green Vice President Strategy and Business Development for ACBHOF. “We have our fingers on the pulse of this vein and that energy will be uncapped during the First Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend!”
“Having been a part of boxing in Atlantic City throughout my broadcasting career as well as being in the corner with my brother George; the idea to preserve Atlantic City’s boxing legacy is long overdue,” stated Roy Foreman Senior Vice President of ACBHOF. “The Hall of Fame will play a key role in bringing the sport back to prominence in a city that is known as one of the original meccas for the sport of boxing.”
Over the next several months leading up to the ACBHOF 2017 Induction Weekend, updates on room packages, a detailed schedule of events and expected celebrity appearances at the event will be posted on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites.
All interested sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors looking be involved in the induction or to reserve a booth at it are encouraged to contact the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF):
Tele: 1+ (609) 318 -3188 (USA)
P.O. Box 7221 Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Carl Frampton & Leo Santa Cruz to Host Open to the Public Los Angeles Press Conference in Advance of Featherweight World Championship Rematch
Featherweight world champion Carl Frampton and former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz will host an open to the public press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their highly anticipated rematch taking place Saturday, January 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME.
Also in attendance in advance of their world title showdown are 135-pound world champion Dejan Zlaticanin and former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia, who will clash in the opener of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader beginning at 10 p.m./7 p.m. PT.
The press conference will take place on December 1st at 1:00 P.M. at the Los Angeles Central Public Library.
Top Bantamweight Antonio Nieves Scorches Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai and Sets Sights on Showdown with WBA Champ Warren
Last Saturday (November 26), Cleveland, Ohio-based bantamweight Antonio “Carita” Nieves stayed busy and kept himself in line for a cross-state showdown with Cincinnati-based WBA Bantamweight Champion Rau’shee Warren by stopping Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai with a single body shot.
Fighting at the Firebird Athletic Center in Bedford, Ohio, WBO #5-rated Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) planted a single left hook to the Hungarian’s body at :46 seconds of round two to earn his 17th professional victory. Watch the video of the knockout HERE.
The impressive victory keeps alive Nieves’ dream of facing cross-state rival Warren in an all-Ohio bantamweight championship fight.
“The goal has always been to become a world champion,” said Nieves, post-fight. “I’d love to fight for the WBO championship and bring that belt back to the United States. The dream fight would be a unification fight with
Rau’shee Warren. I would love an all American, all Ohio match up with a great fighter like Rau’shee. We fought once in the amateurs back in 2011 when I had about four hours’ notice. He won that fight by decision in Cincinnati. While we have always respected him, the next time we meet, there will be a different result and a different winner.”
Nieves’ promoter, Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions, says he’s happy with his fighter’s performance.
“Antonio did what he’s supposed to do as one of the world’s best 118-lb fighters,” said Salita. “That body shot he landed was one that few fighters could withstand. He’s in perfect shape and ready for his world title shot, which we are working to secure for him in the near future. I’m not sure I want Rau’shee Warren’s people to watch the video though. They may not give us the fight we really want.”
Settlement Reached Between Lucian Bute & District of Columbia Athletic Commission
A settlement has been reached between Lucian Bute and the District of Columbia Athletic Commission, several months after an initial anti-doping test result was announcement regarding traces of Ostarin found in Bute’s urine samples this past May.
Following the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight world title bout between defending champion Badou Jack and challenger Bute, which ended in a draw, a positive test result was announced to the general surprise of Bute.
Since then, however, in-depth analyses has demonstrated beyond all doubt that this result was due to contamination of nutritional supplements, prescribed by Bute’s conditioning trainer and created by a laboratory in California.
All this information has been favorably received by the authorities of the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia.
As a result of communications between the parties involved, an agreement was reached:
Lucian Bute voluntarily agrees to contribute $50,000 (USD), within a period not exceeding 90 days, to the WBC Clean Boxing Program (CBP).
Lucian Bute also agrees that his boxer license from the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia be suspended for a period of six months, dating back to May 6, 2016.
The athletic commission therefore agrees to reject the disputed case immediately with the compromise reached between the parties and does not in any way consider that this compromise constitutes an admission on the part of Lucian Bute of the alleged facts or circumstances.
Lucian Bute intends to pay his voluntary contribution to the WBC CBP without delay and as the six-month suspension period of his boxing license from the District of Columbia ended November 6, he may now box at the place and time of his choice right now. The case is now permanently closed.
“I am extremely happy that everything is now over,” former IBF world champion Bute said. “I would like to thank my family and my spouse, Helena, all members of my team, Christian Ganescu, the Grant brothers, Groupe Yvon Michel, my manager, Al Haymon, my lawyer, Howard Jacob, and my friends, fans and supporters who were many to support me and to encourage and trust me during these dark and painful hours of my life. I would also like to thank the members of the Athletic Committee of the District of Columbia and its Chairman, Mr. Adam Weers, for listening and understanding, as well as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman for giving me the benefit of the doubt and keeping me in the rankings of the best super middleweight challengers,”
In spite of this difficult period, Bute has continued training and he is more determined than ever to take the road back to regaining his world title. Bute is ready to face anyone who will stand between him and his goals.
“I am surrounded by the best team to guide me, ” Bute concluded. “I have, more than ever, the enthusiasm and will to fight. I have a lot of years ahead of me and I cannot wait to get back into the ring in early 2017.”
Media Training Day Quotes: Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, 11-Time World Champion
“My training camp is basically running the same way. I think it has been smoother than others. I feel very comfortable and happy with my performances. They push me hard at camp. They know what I need.
“The timing for this fight is right. This fight is about legacy, fans and family. I surround myself with all of the right people.
“I can’t say that this matchup is about hype. This is real life. This is two future Hall of Famers in a mega-fight.
“I’ve done record breaking numbers before and it looks like we’re going to do it again.
“Everything in life is about timing. I have no regrets that this fight didn’t take place five years ago. I didn’t think it was that big then, but it continued to get bigger and bigger. Not just in boxing, but outside of the sport. Pacquiao has continued to grow outside of the sport. We didn’t need to rush anything.
“This is going to be an exciting fight. Our styles are totally different. He is very, very reckless. Every move I make is calculated. I’m always 5-10 steps ahead of my opponent.
“We’ll see what happens when the fight starts. But when all is said and done I’m going to be the winner.
“Pacquiao is strong and solid but I don’t know if he can make adjustments like I can. I feel tremendous.
“This was a difficult fight to make happen, but we made it happen. This fight is one of the biggest ever in boxing.
“I’m still going strong. The last time I looked, I was 47 and 0.
“Anyone can get hit with a great shot, but I can make more adjustments and Manny can’t.
“I don’t think Pacquiao expected me to look as strong or big when we faced off (at the L.A. press conference).
“I walk around at 150-152 pounds to weigh 147 pounds. Other boxers weigh around 160-170 before coming down.
“I’ve got one more fight on my contract. I couldn’t be happier with SHOWTIME and CBS.
“Las Vegas is the boxing capital. During a Floyd Mayweather fight weekend, you can shop, party, stay out late and do anything you want. The city of Las Vegas has everything.
“There were offers to fight other places, but MGM Grand is my home.
“Anything I’ve asked of MGM Grand, they’ve done for me in a heartbeat. They’re all about making entertainers and athletes happy.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to fight on such an unbelievably huge card. I really want to thank Floyd Mayweather.
“Any boxer would like to be on this card where millions of people are watching. I’m happy to represent Mexico on this night and on this fight card.
“I look at it as a key opportunity for me to make an even bigger name for myself, which is my goal because one day I want to become a superstar like Floyd. That’s why I train really hard all of the time.
“There are no little fights for me. I consider every fighter dangerous. You lose when you think a fighter is not on your level and then he comes in hungrier than you. That will never happen to me.
“I don’t know who I’m fighting yet, but I’m sparring different guys with different styles.
“There’s always a lot at risk for me. People keep talking about all of these big fights, but if I don’t win now, there will be no big fights in the future.
“I know who I want to fight, but I don’t pick my opponents; I leave it up to my team. They make those kinds of decisions. My job is to fight and win.
“I have to stay concentrated. I have to maintain focus and concentration. I can’t get ahead of myself. I give 100 percent in training and in the ring. I always want to put on a great fight for the fans.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Boxing is at an all time high at the moment. There are a lot of great things going on. Between this fight and getting boxing back on network television, it’s all great for the sport.
“This fight will not only elevate the sport in general, but it will bring in the casual fan to the sport and that’s a great thing.
“The impact that Floyd Mayweather has had on this sport is immeasurable. People won’t be able to appreciate that until he retires. He’s done so much for this sport. He’s given fighters a platform to say to other promoters that they deserve the lion’s share of the money. He’s brought more sponsorships to the sport.
“Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in all of sports and he happens to be a boxer.
“I think the demand thus far only indicates how big this event is. This is a fight that’s been talked about for five years now and everyone is going to get exactly what they’ve been asking for.
“Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. He’s been in a number of great fights and he’s had a terrific career thus far. These are the two best fighters of this generation and come May 2 there will be one man standing and it will be Floyd Mayweather.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a great fight. I’m really excited. I can see firsthand the day-to-day preparation that Floyd puts in and he’s working just as hard as ever. The fans are going to get a great fight that night.
“I don’t know what Manny Pacquiao has to do on May 2, but I know what Floyd Mayweather has to do. He has to do what he normally does and go in there and execute his game plan and I really expect Floyd to knock him out.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR., Mayweather’s Trainer & Father
“Floyd is as well rounded a fighter as there has ever been, but he’s really still here because of his defense.
“Other guys fight with their head and their mind and come up short. It’s his great defense that has kept him on top for so long.
“I want you all to see it. It’s so plain and simple what he’s going to do. Even Ray Charles could see it.
“I honestly never thought that this was going to happen. So many people were trying to say Floyd was scared. Lets see on May 2 who is scared.
“I can’t tell you why or how, but here’s an update, Floyd is going to kick his a** and knock Pacquiao out.
“I didn’t watch one tape on Pacquiao. There is no reason to study him. He’s not at this level.
“Floyd is the best, I must confess. Nothing is going to stop Floyd Mayweather.
“Pacquiao’s trainer Coach Roach (Freddie Roach) is lying to you. Trying to trick you all. Floyd’s not getting knocked down in the gym. Floyd is the one knocking people down. Roach blows smoke with no hope.”