In a highlight-reel knockout, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) scored a vicious sixth-round knockout over Leo Santa Cruz (37-2, 19 KOs) to take his WBA 130-lb title from him on Saturday night in front of a live audience at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Santa Cruz, 32, got a little careless in the sixth round after getting hit with a low blow. Instead of fighting smart, Santa Cruz plowed forward and was hurt by Tank. Moments later, Tank, 25, connected with a big left uppercut that knocked Santa Cruz senseless, sending him down and out. The fight was stopped right away due to the condition of Santa Cruz. He was done.
The official time of the stoppage was at 2:40 of round six.
Hopefully, Santa Cruz is alright because he was really hurt from that shot, which he wasn’t expected. That’s the thing. Santa Cruz fought with a little too much aggression in the sixth, and that’s something you don’t want to do against a fighter with an uppercut like Davis.
In hindsight, Santa Cruz would have stood a better shot at winning the fight if he’d stayed on the outside and boxed Davis the way that he did in his wins over Abner Mares and Carl Frampton.
When Santa Cruz is on the outside, he’s hard to beat but wasn’t doing that tonight against Davis. He was going to war with him too much and leaving himself open for big punches.
It was only a matter of time before Davis knocked Santa Cruz out. You could see that from the earliest point in the fight. Leo was fighting the wrong fight and leaving himself open for a lot of big punches.
It’s hard to know why it took Davis so long to knock out Santa Cruz because the openings were there from the first round. It’s possible that all the weight that Tank took off weakened him enough to where he didn’t have the same power that he normally does, and more importantly, he lacked the strength to fight hard.
Santa Cruz can probably still win another world title at 130 if his punch resistance hasn’t been affected. Ideally, it would be better for Santa Cruz to move back down to 126 and go after one of those straps.
Leo doesn’t have the same power at 130 as he did when he fought at 118, 122, and 126, and he’s going to have the same problems he did with Tank as he would if he faces Miguel Berchelt, Oscar Valdez, or Shakur Stevenson. Those guys hit too hard, and Santa Cruz is too wide open on defense to beat those kinds of guys.