Back in February, a couple of months after moving up to 130 to win another world title, Leo Santa Cruz said he wanted Gervonta “Tank” Davis next, and said he felt the fight was likely. Just recently, Santa Cruz said he believed that was still the plan, and that he figured the fight would take place at 130, with Davis moving back down from 135.
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe has confirmed to ESPN that this is, indeed, the plan for Davis, whom he promotes. Ellerbe said he has no time frame on the fight, and admits that it’s the level of fight that would be hard to do without a paying audience, but says “there’s a number of scenarios,” and that the plan is still what it was supposed to be, at least for now.
Davis (23-0, 22 KO) and Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KO) have both faced pretty intense criticism for their recent opposition. Gervonta, 25, is a two-time titleholder at 130, losing his title on the scales the first time, and has faced no real resistance as a pro to date. His best win came back in 2017 over Jose Pedraza, and while he’s won six straight and picked up a solid fan base since then, the opposition has often been lacking. Most recently, he went up to 135 and dominated Yuriorkis Gamboa, who fought most of the bout on one leg, basically. And even the domination of an old fighter who fought from round two with a ruptured Achilles was questioned by many.
Santa Cruz, 31, spent 2019 beating Rafael Rivera and Miguel Flores in a couple of rather forgettable outings.
But whether this fight’s at 130 or 135 or a catchweight between, it’s a good matchup, one that both fighters could really use right now. For Davis, it’s a chance to prove at least a little more, even if he still runs the risk of catching flak for fighting a guy who was a natural bantamweight and is probably pushing it fighting at 130. Santa Cruz, meanwhile, has a chance to knock off a heavily-hyped, unbeaten, younger fighter who may well be vulnerable; some are still doubters of Tank’s ability and dedication.