Photos / Quotes: Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz – final press conference

Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they battle for Davis’ WBA Lightweight Title in the SHOWTIME PPV main event this Sunday, December 5, from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)

The pay-per-view telecast will begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and see Davis’ third-straight pay-per-view headlining attraction, as the three-division champion duels the IBF-ranked No. 2 lightweight in Cruz, a Mexico City-native who has earned his “Pitbull” moniker through his hard-nosed style.

Tickets for the event, which are promoted by Mayweather, GTD, and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

Here is what the press conference participants, including Mayweather Promotions President Floyd Mayweather, had to say Thursday from downtown Los Angeles:

GERVONTA DAVIS

“I’m thankful to everyone here today and everyone who’s made this fight possible. This is going to be another big night. It’s my first time fighting on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m ready to put on another outstanding performance.

“I think fighting shorter guys is more complex than fighting guys taller than me. You have to punch down and find him. But I’m coming with my top game, so we’ll see how it plays out Sunday.

Gervonta Davis, Isaac Cruz boxing image / photo

“I can’t say too much about my strategy, and you’re just going to have to wait and see Sunday. He can say whatever he wants right now, but it’s different when you get hit in the face.

“This is going to be a big event and an exciting fight. We’re fighters who like to come forward, and when you get these types of styles, we’re going to crash into each other.

“The opponent change is just a part of boxing, and I had to adapt to it just like I’ll adapt to what Cruz brings on fight night. We changed some small things in camp, but we know our mission is to get the job done no matter who it is.

“When you’re in the ring, if you have good coaches, they can tell you when a guy is hurt and when it’s time to pick it up. I believe in my team to the fullest. With all of us putting our minds together, we’ll come out on top.

“Even us facing off today, I’m looking to see his height and reach and things like that. I pay attention to everything so that I’m fully prepared on fight night.

“I can’t say exactly what’s going to happen in the fight because that would be overlooking him. I’m not going to make a mistake other fighters have made. I’m ready to go 12 rounds, and I’m looking forward to Sunday.

“He’s saying I haven’t faced someone like him, but he’s never faced anyone like me either. He can say what he wants to build up the fight.

“I’ve been the underdog like Cruz before, and I know that he’s coming fully prepared and coming strong. I remember when my back was against the wall. It’s do-or-die right now, and he’s coming with it, not only for himself but for his family.”

ISAAC CRUZ

“I’m hungrier, and I’m more motivated than ever to give a great future to my wife and my son. Since I was a little kid, this has been my dream, and I am here to make that dream come true; and I will give my all to make it happen.

“My training camp has been all about endurance, and I’m fully prepared to give an excellent show for the fans and everybody tuning in on Sunday night.

“It’s simple. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it. He has never faced anybody that fights like me back. My hunger and my will to win are unparalleled, and he’s going to feel it on Sunday night.

“I guarantee a great fight, and I guarantee excitement. I want the fans to be excited whether they tune in on SHOWTIME PPV or are at STAPLES Center, and I want them to go home happy.

“I’m very confident in any punch that I throw. As the Mexican saying goes, ‘whichever way it goes, it goes.’ But I’m very comfortable in my skin and style, and I believe in what I can do on Sunday night.

“Gervonta is a powerful fighter, and I consider him the best in the division, but he’s human, and he’s not impossible to beat. My goal will be to bring him down a notch and show who I am.

“I know that Manny Pacquiao is well aware of this fight happening, and we hope to make him proud as a part of Manny Pacquiao Promotions. He said he believes in me and that we have to train hard and give it our all out in the ring. Regardless of what happens, he will be proud of us, and he believes we can come out on top.

“It was mixed feelings when I learned that I would be stepping in to take this fight. There were a lot of emotions coming in all at once. But once we realized that this was the opportunity of a lifetime, we had to take advantage and get ready for it. Now we are here, willing to take it head-on.

“We have seen a lot of Gervonta’s fights. We have concluded both good and bad. We have studied Gervonta to the fullest. Our hunger for glory is so far ahead of anything you can think of. We are going to give it our all in the ring.

“Gervonta is a strong fighter. He’s a tough fighter. But he’s not impossible to beat. We are not scared of his speed. We have been training hard to be able to counter his speed. He has a strong uppercut. He throws a variety of punches. But we are prepared. Regardless of what previous fighters have done against him, we have prepared to counter anything he can throw our way.”

FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions

“This is another big fight between two great competitors who are going out there to show the world what they’ve got. ‘Tank’ has been on the big stage for a while now, but he’s allowing another fighter to be great. Before I was ‘T.B.E,’ someone had to give me the opportunity, just like Cruz is getting.

“Cruz is a tough fighter. I didn’t know much about Cruz when this fight was first made. But when I did my homework, I saw that I’d faced guys like him before. You can’t overlook any opponent, but especially one like Cruz.

“’ Tank’ has unbelievable boxing skills and the will to win. I see very similar qualities in Isaac Cruz. On Sunday, it’s going to be an explosive night.

“‘Tank’s’ trainers have got him covered all across the board. They went out there and did what they had to do throughout training camp, and ‘Tank’ will be ready come Sunday.

“These weights between 130 and 140-pounds are the strongest in boxing right now, and that’s just my opinion. We have two of the best fighters at lightweight squaring off in this fight.

“This is going to be a very entertaining fight, and I can’t wait. We have a tremendous undercard, but I really can’t wait for the main event. Sunday will be our day; make sure you don’t miss it.

“It was a team effort deciding to put the fight on Sunday. The Super Bowl is on a Sunday, a lot of award shows and the NBA All-Star Game are all on Sundays. Many times on Saturdays, people go out to the nightclubs because they work a 9-5 and want to enjoy their Friday and Saturday. But Sunday, everyone is at home; they can sit down, enjoy the festivities and take in this great card.”

CALVIN FORD, Davis’ Trainer

“Cruz is a very aggressive fighter. This will be a fight you don’t want to miss. This is the fight where I’m looking for that fighter to bring the best out of Gervonta Davis.

“Is Cruz the one to push ‘Tank’ further than he’s been pushed? From what I’ve seen from Cruz on ALL ACCESS, I can see that he’s on a mission. He’s definitely on a mission, and we aren’t sleeping on him. You’ll want to tune in to this fight, and this is the one.”

BARRY HUNTER, Davis’ Co-Trainer

“‘Tank’ is a fantastic fighter. He’s very explosive and very skilled. He brings a lot to the table as it pertains to the sport. I’m just looking for a great, fan-friendly fight. We have got all the confidence in the world in him, his abilities, and what we’ve done to prepare.

“I want to thank Cruz, his dad, and his team for even accepting the challenge and stepping up to the plate. I know he’s hungry, I know he’s prepared, and I know he has what it takes to win that world title; it’s just not happening now.”

ISAAC CRUZ SR., Cruz’s Father and Trainer

“It has been a long training camp, but we have been up to the challenge. Hopefully, Isaac will be the one ending up on top with the championship belt after Sunday night.

“We’ve prepared for everything possible heading into this fight. We wouldn’t have taken the fight if we knew that Isaac could win. We’re going to be ready when that bell rings on Sunday.”

LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions

“Sunday night is going to be nothing but fireworks. I can’t give anything but credit to Isaac Cruz for coming into this fight. I know he’s mentally prepared. We’ve had our eye on Cruz since his explosive performance in San Antonio on Gervonta’s undercard last year. I knew then that he would be a guy that ‘Tank’ was going to have to face.

“We all witnessed just last week what happens when you’re a top fighter, and you don’t prepare the right way, and you take your opponent lightly. But ‘Tank’ doesn’t do that. He takes everyone seriously, and he knows that Isaac is prepared and coming to knock him off his throne.

“’ Tank’ has had an excellent camp and has done everything his coaches have asked of him. I’m impressed with his maturation and how he’s come into his own both inside and outside the ring. With all of that combined, I believe that we’re going to see the best of Gervonta Davis this Sunday night.”