Is The Gervonta Davis – Leo Santa Cruz Winner A Top-10 Pound-For-Pounder?

The October 31 clash between rising star Gervonta Davis and tough and experienced warrior Leo Santa Cruz is fully expected to be a great fight; maybe a FOTY candidate. Mexico’s Santa Cruz, 37-1-1(19) has actually said that he expects this fight to be the toughest of his career – which is saying something considering how the 32 year old has been in with the likes of Abner Mares, Carl Frampton and others.

Speaking on a recent virtual press conference, Santa Cruz also said that in his opinion the winner of the October 31 fight will be a top-10 pound-for-pound ranked fighter. This too is saying something. Is Santa Cruz correct? “Tank” Davis is undeniably a superb talent, yet he has not yet beaten any truly elite fighters (he struggled with a past his best, 38 year old Yuriorkis Gamboa in his last fight, being extended into the 12th and final round back in December). The 25 year old may well become a P-4-P star in the not too distant future, but would a win over Santa Cruz get him there?

Davis, 23-0(22) is the favorite to win on October 31, but Santa Cruz says he is ready for a war. Would a win for Santa Cruz put him in the top-10 P-4-P? Again, it’s quite a statement Santa Cruz has come out with.

“This is a hard fight. It’s the toughest fight of my career,” Santa Cruz said. “We’re facing a tough fighter with great skills. I know he’s going to come with everything he has. I’m determined to beat Tank so I can say that I beat one of the best fighters in the world. I want to give the fans a great fight. This is a big opportunity for me to become a superstar. It’s an opportunity for Tank too. I believe the winner of this fight is pound-for-pound top 10. Nobody wants to fight Tank Davis and I chose to fight him.”

No doubt, this is a great match-up, between two fighters at opposite ends of their careers. But a look at the current pound-for-pound top 10 shows you fine fighters like Vasyl Lomachenko, Canelo Alvarez, Errol Spence, Naoya Inoue, Terence Crawford, Gennady Golovkin, Manny Pacquiao, Oleksandr Usyk, Juan Francisco Estrada and Artur Beterbiev. Does the Davis Vs. Santa Cruz winner really deserve to overtake any one of these superb fighters?