“Tank” Davis and Leo Santa Cruz make weight for Saturday

Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis quieted the critics in weighing in successfully at 129.8 pounds. WBA super featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz weighed in at 129.6 lbs for their much-anticipated fight this Saturday on October 31st, on Showtime PPV at the Alamodome in San Anton, Texas.

In other weights on Saturday’s card:

  • Mario “El Azteca” Barrios 139.6 vs. Ryan “Cowboy” Karl 140
  • Regis “Rougarou” Prograis 141.6 vs. Juan Heraldez 139.6
  • Isaac Cruz 132 vs. Diego Magdaleno 134.8

The 25-year-old Tank Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) proved his doubters wrong in making the 130-lb super featherweight limit and not looking emaciated at the weight.

Many boxing fans predicted that Tank would come in heavy and lose out on his chance to take Santa Cruz’s WBA 130lb strap from him.

Santa Cruz’s title is less important to Davis than just winning the fight and showing boxing fans that he can still compete in the weight class.

On Saturday, Davis’ WBA secondary lightweight title and Santa Cruz’s WBA super featherweight straps will be up for grabs. The winner will hold titles in both divisions. It’s unclear why the World Boxing Association agreed to let this type of thing happen, but they likely want to make sure that they have a popular fighter holding their belt.

If they had Davis vacate his WBA 135lb secondary title, then an arguably less popular fighter would move in and snatch it up. It works better for the WBA to have the Santa Cruz vs. Davis fight winner hold both of those titles at 130 and 135.

“I don’t think the fans think that. That’s boxing Twitter,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said to Fighthub when asked about his thoughts on fans saying that Davis is going to ‘walk through Leo Santa Cruz.’

“Boxing Twitter doesn’t represent boxing. These are just the haters who feel a certain kind of way about Tank and feel a certain kind of way about Floyd; that’s all that is. And those people, you can’t even hear them.

“There are levels to these things, and you’d be a damn fool to discredit a guy [Santa Cruz], who is a four-division world champion. Again, Tank has a tremendous opportunity to be sharing a ring with a guy like Leo Santa Cruz,” said Ellerbe.

As you can see, Ellerbe doesn’t like the idea of fans saying that they see Saturday’s fight between Davis and Santa Cruz as a mismatch. With the need to try and sell PPV buys to this expensive $75 fight card on Showtime pay-per-view, it’s not all that shocking that Ellerbe is resisting the notion that Davis will walk through the 32-year-old Santa Cruz.

The reality is different. Santa Cruz has very little chance of winning the fight, and his style of fighting is made to order for Davis. Santa Cruz is a come forward type of fighter who leads with his face when attacking his mostly mediocre he’s fought throughout his career.

Saturday’s fight is essentially a showcase fight for Davis to look better than he actually is. If Tank wipes out Santa Cruz, which is almost guaranteed to happen, the casual boxing fans will get excited about him and be more inclined to pay to see his next fight on PPV.

“How many fighters in their career get a chance to fight a four-division world champion?” said Ellerbe in continuing to sound defensive in why Tank chose Ellerbe instead of a more talented fighter from the 135-lb division.

“If Leo Santa Cruz wins this fight on Saturday night, he puts his name in the company of Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Tommy Hearns, and Manny Pacquiao.

“He’s just got to figure out how to go get a win on Saturday night. That’s why you got to tune in on Saturday night to see.

“He’s [Santa Cruz] a tremendous fighter, he’s a Mexican warrior, he’s one of the top fighters, and he always comes to fight, and this is a tough fight,” said Ellerbe.

“It’s not about me trying to sell the fight, but I am trying to sell the fight, though. I hate it because the whole thing is designed to discredit Tank.

“That’s why they’re saying it. Again, if one of these other guys that they perceive as a smaller guy to call Tank out, then it’s okay. Tank has a tough task in front of him, and Leo has a tough task.

Gervonta Davis, Juan Heraldez, Leo Santa Cruz, Mario Barrios, Regis "Rougarou" Prograis, Ryan Karl - Boxing News

“It’s a great fight. Both guys’ styles are what’s going to make this a very, very entertaining fight,” said Ellerbe in banging the drum to get fans excited about purchasing the Davis vs. Santa Cruz match on Showtime PPV.

If you saw Santa Cruz’s last fight against Miguel Flores last November, you’d say that he has zero chance of winning on Saturday against Davis. Flores was just another of the long line of weaker fighters that Santa Cruz has been facing since his rematch with Carl Frampton in 2017.

Santa Cruz’s wins since his rematch with Frampton:

  • Rafael Rivera
  • Miguel Flores
  • Abner Mares – way past his prime
  • Chris Avalos

None of those fighters are elite or even close to being elite, and it’s pretty obvious that Santa Cruz has been matched with care to keep him winning. He’s ignored the constant call-outs by Gary Russell Jr, who has been trying to get a fight with him for ages. Rather than facing Russell, Santa Cruz has fought the above-mentioned fighters.

“Tank is one of the best boxers in the world,” Ellerbe continued. “Skill for skill, Tank is in the top three in the entire world right now.

“The scary thing is, he’s going to get better. That’s the scary part, and he hasn’t had the opportunity to go into his bag of tricks or his toolbox because he hasn’t found the need to.

“Come Saturday night; he’s going to have to go into that toolbox. I know he’s going to have to go into that toolbox. Leo Santa Cruz is a whole different animal. He is the best fighter that Tank will have had to face thus far and vice versa,” said Ellerbe.

We don’t know how good Tank is because Mayweather Promotions keeps matching him against old guys like Yuriorkis Gamboa and Santa Cruz instead of putting him in with fighters in their prime could potentially beat him.

Vasily Lomachenko has wanted to fight Tank Davis for years, but Mayweather Promotions haven’t shown interest in making that fight. Now Teofimo Lopez wants to fight Tank, but instead of him agreeing to that match, he says he wants to face Ryan Garcia next. It’s predictable.

If Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) beats Davis, it will make him a 5-division world champion, which would put him in the same company as these fighters:

  • Floyd Mayweather Jr
  • Oscar De La Hoya
  • Sugar Ray Leonard
  • Tommy Hearns
  • Manny Pacquiao

It would be a big deal, but Santa Cruz has never beaten anyone super talented to win any of his titles. That’s the whole problem. He’s a four-division world champion, but he’s not beaten the best to win all those titles. Nowadays, it’s easy for fighters to win world titles in multiple divisions if they’re matched carefully against flawed fighters.

Look at De La Hoya. The middleweight title he won came against Felix Sturm, and it was a highly controversial win for Oscar. Instead of facing the best middleweight, De La Hoya fought Sturm and won a questionable decision. When Oscar did fight the best in Bernard Hopkins, he was promptly knocked out with a body shot.

“It’s the biggest and best fight out there for both of those guys. Nothing excites me,” said Elleberbe when asked what fights out there that he sees for Davis.

“I’m focused on Saturday night because you have to focus on what’s ahead of you. If you start looking ahead, that’s how you make a mistake.

“You trip up. All hands on deck, you see it from Mayweather Promotions, all hands on deck over here. Tank is on the path and the road to becoming a great fighter.

“It happens over a period of time where you get to prove yourself. We feel very soon that he’s going to be the biggest star in the entire sport.

“We have every reason to believe that if he continues to work smart and do the things that he’s supposed to do, there’s no stopping him. Tank is a tremendous boxer, and he’s also a tremendous puncher.

“Again, he’s going to separate himself continually, and it won’t be long before he’s recognized universally as the biggest star in the sport,” said Ellerbe of Gervonta.