That’s when Gervnta Davis and Loeo Santa Cruz are scheduled to fight for titles in two weight divisions – one a secondary belt – in the new Showtime bubble at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
We’ll see whether the matchup will generate big pay-per-view numbers but it’s difficult to find fault in the main event.
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is one of the most-gifted young fighters in the world and resonates with a wide swath of fans. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) is a proven, volume-punching warhorse who doesn’t appear to be slowing down at 31.
It doesn’t get much better than this is an era when it seems elite fighters work as hard to avoid one another as they do in the ring.
Leo Santa Cruz (right) outpointed Miguel Flores to win a title in a fourth division. Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions
And there are already good story lines directly related to the boxing side of the matchup.
The most compelling might be that Davis has agreed to a weight limit of 130 pounds, which will allow him to challenge for Santa Cruz’s WBA junior lightweight title. Davis’ WBA “regular” 135-pound belt also will be on the line but Boxing Junkie doesn’t recognize that title. Vasiliy Lomachenko is the WBA lightweight champion.
Still, the fact the fight is scheduled to take place at 130 pounds is interesting. Davis made the move up to 135 pounds for his last fight, a 12th-round knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa in July of last year. Can he even make 130 pounds at this point?
Remember, Davis isn’t known for his discipline. He lost his junior lightweight title when he weighed 132 for his fight against Francisco Fonseca on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor card in 2017. He made 130 for his next three bouts but needed two tries before succeeding against Hugo Ruiz in February of last year. And he initially weighed 136.2 the day before the lightweight fight against Gamboa. He made weight on his second attempt.
Thus, Stephen Espinoza, president of sports and event programming for Showtime, chuckled when he was asked on a conference call whether he was concerned about Davis’ ability to make weight.
“He’s motivated here. I don’t think there will be any problems making weight on this one,” Espinoza said.
Meanwhile, the fact the fight will take place at 130 – and not 135 – probably raises Santa Cruz’s chances of winning twofold. The three-division titleholder from the Los Angeles area was a 126-pounder only two fights ago. And while he outpointed Miguel Flores to win his 130-pound title in his debut at the weight in November, he didn’t look particularly sharp. That raised questions about his effectiveness at 130.
Can Davis make the junior lightweight limit? If he can’t, what will Santa Cruz do? Go through with the fight anyway? And can Santa Cruz be as effective at 130 as he was at lighter weights?
Davis vs. Santa Cruz provides a lot of fodder for discussion.