Gervonta Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) beat replacement opponent Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) by 12 round unanimous decision in an exciting battle from start to finish at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Tank was initially scheduled to fight Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero, but he was removed from the card four weeks ago due to allegations against him and replaced by Pitbull Cruz.
Davis may not have expected the type of performance from #7 WBC Pitbull Cruz because he seemed uncomfortable with the pressure he was putting on him all night. Tank tried to keep the hard-swinging Cruz from getting inside, but
Cruz had minor problems getting inside the entire fight to hammer Tank Davis to the body and the head.
Tank was trying to time Cruz, but he couldn’t hit him enough to keep him from working in close.
Rather than fight the 5’4″ slugger on the inside, Davis opted to hold and pull down on his head. Tank would pull down on Pitbull Cruz’s head with one arm and then try to hit him with his free hand, which was highly illegal.
The rulebook went out the window for Tank in the second half of the fight, as it looked like he was focused on winning by any means necessary.
Tank was missing a lot of his shots, and he seemed frustrated with the pressure put on him by the younger 23-year-old Isaac Cruz.
You could see the anger from Gervonta play out with his fouling in pushing Pitbull Cruz down, putting him in headlocks, clinching excessively, and using the illegal straight arm to keep him from getting close.
That tactic is against the rules, but fighters tend to get away with it all the time nowadays.
The judges went with the champion in giving the win to Gervonta by the scores: 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.
You could make a strong case that Pitbull deserved a win or at the very least a draw because he looked like the better fighter. Davis seemed like he aged a decade in the last year, and he looked much older and larger than Pitbull Cruz.
The former three-division world champion Tank Davis gassed badly in the championship rounds, appearing to lose rounds 10, 11, and 12.
However, by that point in the fight, Davis was fighting with just one arm because he appeared to have suffered a hand injury.
Despite losing the fight, Isaac Cruz made a name for himself because he looked like the more impressive fighter of the two and easily the more entertaining.
If not for Tank’s holding and stiff-arm tactics, he likely would have lost tonight.
After this performance tonight, Tank would be better off staying away from the other ‘Four Kings’ in the lightweight division because he likely would lose.
He looks like he’s aging rapidly, and the punishment he took in his last fight against Mario Barrios may have taken something out of him.