Romero on fight with Davis: ‘One round, I’m knocking him out’

Unbeaten lightweight contender Rolando Romero is getting prepared for the biggest fight of his life when he battles Gervonta “Tank” Davis(28-0, 24 KOs) on May 28 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn(Showtime PPV).

Romero(14-0, 12 KOs) was scheduled to fight Davis in December 2021, but he was hit with sexual assault allegations and was removed from the fight. Romero has been cleared of those allegations, and now, he gets a shot at the undefeated Davis.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

“One round, I’m knocking him out,” Romero said of Davis during a media workout Tuesday in Las Vegas. “If I say I’m going to do it, then I’m going to do it.

“He’s going to get knocked out by the first punch that he eats. He’s going to run right into something.”

Romero and Davis have bad blood. The two have sparred at press conferences, and according to Romero, the reason for the bad blood is that Davis would not spar him in the ring.

“I don’t like ‘Tank’ as a person, and I believe he’s going to get whupped in this fight,” Romero said.

“He ducked me twice for sparring, and the bad blood has been there ever since. I’ve been calling him out since 2017. The only reason this fight was made was because I wanted it. He doesn’t want this. He wishes he was fighting some 126 or 122-pounder.”

Romero had to watch as his replacement Issac Cruz got a shot against Davis in a close fight. Davis won by unanimous decision, but Romero believed the wrong guy won.

“I thought Isaac Cruz beat Gervonta,” Romero said. “That fight showed just how vulnerable he is. He’s scared of people that can actually crack.”

Romero had one final message for Davis.

“I don’t have any message for Davis; I just have these fists.”

Both fighters have power, which should make for a fun night in Brooklyn.

 

Lara-O’Sullivan, Ramos-Santamaria added to Davis-Romero undercard

The SHOWTIME PPV undercard for Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero will feature three exciting, explosive matchups entering the ring in high-stakes action on Saturday, May 28 live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Two-division world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara will defend his WBA Middleweight Title against hard-hitting, Irish crowd-pleaser Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan in an all-action co-main event of the telecast, which begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Sensational young star Jesús “Mono” Ramos will put his unbeaten record on the line against rugged super welterweight battler Luke Santamaría in a 10-round showdown on the pay-per-view, while hard-hitting contender Eduardo Ramírez battles Puerto Rico’s Luis Meléndez in a 10-round super featherweight thriller that shapes up to deliver toe-to-toe action opening up the telecast.

Lara (28-3-3, 16 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound world champion before he lost a tough split-decision to Jarrett Hurd in a title unification match in 2018 that earned “Fight of the Year” from the BWAA. Lara returned from that fight and battled current 154-pound world titleholder Brian Castaño to an exciting draw in another narrow fight that could have gone Lara’s way. Lara most recently moved up to middleweight, capturing his WBA title with a first round knockout of Thomas LaManna in May 2021. Lara faced a slew of the top 154-pounders in the sport, including Canelo Alvarez, ahead of his middleweight debut.

 “I’m ready to get back in the ring and show the fans that I’m still a world class fighter,” said Lara. “Gary O’Sullivan has proven to be a tough opponent for everyone he’s faced, and his only losses are to champions. I’ve been in many great fights and it will be no different when I step into the ring at Barclays Center. Being on this stage always brings out the best in me and fans can expect to see my power in this fight.’’

A native of Cork, Ireland, O’Sullivan (31-4, 21 KOs) has won three of his last four fights leading into his title shot against Lara on May 28. O’Sullivan’s aggressive style has made him a fan-favorite each time he steps into the ring. He has faced a deep roster of top names, including David Lemieux, Jaime Munguia, Chris Eubank Jr., and Billy Joe Saunders. O’Sullivan scored a career-best victory in December 2017, as he stopped rising prospect Antoine Douglas during a five-fight knockout streak.

“From the very first time I watched boxing, I’ve always dreamed of being a world champion and from the first day I turned professional I’ve worked towards that goal,” said O’Sullivan. “I’ve had some setbacks, but I’ve gone back to the drawing board, regrouped, righted some wrongs and kept pushing forward. I’ve always known that one day the chips would fall in my favor. I’m coming to rip that belt back to Ireland and hear the words, ‘And the new!’”

A strong southpaw who at 21 has yet to come close to hitting his ceiling as a fighter, Ramos (18-0, 15 KOs) is the nephew of welterweight contender Abel Ramos, who was defeated in February by Santamaría via unanimous decision. Jesus knocked out tough contender Vladimir Hernandez in February on that same card. Prior to that impressive outing, Ramos had shown the ability to outpoint his opponents with back-to-back 10-round unanimous decisions over Brian Mendoza in September 2021 and Javier Molina in May 2021. Overall, the youthful Ramos has gained recognition with highlight-reel KOs, stopping six of his last eight opponents, showcasing a desire to end his fights early.

“Training out in Las Vegas has been going great so far,” said Ramos. “We’ve had some great sparring out here. We expect Santamaria to move around the entire fight, so we’re going to be ready to cut the ring off and land heavy shots. I’m going to win on May 28 because of the preparation I’ve been doing, but I’m not underestimating anyone and will prepare to the best of my ability.”

The 24-year-old Santamaría (13-2-1, 7 KOs) will look to continue his success against the Ramos family as he steps into the ring after back-to-back impressive victories, first defeating two-division champion Devon Alexander in August 2021 before defeating Abel Ramos in February on less than two weeks’ notice. Santamaría had previously dropped a decision to top prospect and SHOBOX: The New Generation® alum Paul Kroll in October 2020, following an August 2020 triumph over veteran contender Mykal Fox that saw him put Fox down in the first round. The Garden Grove, Calif. native also owns a decision over Willie Jones and a majority draw against SHOBOX® prospect Marquis Taylor in his 2019 contests.

“I’m daring to be great in this fight,” said Santamaría. “That’s the main reason I agreed to fight Ramos. I’ve shown that I’m willing to compete against anyone, because I believe in my training and my abilities. This is going to be a great fight for the fans and I can’t wait to step in there on May 28.”

Fighting out of Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramírez (26-2-3, 12 KOs) has risen up the rankings with four-straight victories, including most recently defeating Miguel Marriaga in December 2021. He previously had stopped then-unbeaten Leduan Barthelemy in November 2019 before blasting out Miguel Flores in December 2020. The 29-year-old is currently riding wins in six of his last seven fights since losing to then featherweight champion Lee Selby in 2017. He’s won 17 of his last 20 fights overall, including a March 2019 knockout victory at Barclays Center.

“I’m happy to be returning to Brooklyn for this fight,” said Ramírez. “I scored a big knockout last time I was there, even though I was the underdog going into the fight. My plan is to deliver a moment like that once again. I’m already in great shape and I will be prepared for a war on May 28.”

Originally from Puerto Rico and now fighting out of Miami, Fla., Meléndez (17-1, 13 KOs) has moved into contender status with an undefeated streak after dropping his third pro fight back in 2018 via split decision. The 24-year-old was busy in 2021, winning eight times, including six victories by knockout. Most recently, Melendez scored a career-best victory over Thomas Mattice in November, winning a unanimous decision after eight rounds. Melendez’s clash with Ramírez shapes up to be a classic Puerto Rico-Mexico ring war.

“I’m very excited to be on a big card like this,” said Meléndez. “I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m coming to put my name on the map come May 28. The winner of this fight is going to be the fans. I’m going to make Puerto Rico proud once again and display my talents in the ring. I want to thank my team and say that I’m not going to disappoint, because this is just the beginning for me.”

Davis, Spence, Charlo brothers, Benavidez headline Showtime/PBC upcoming boxing schedule

SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today announced nine boxing events across the first half of 2022

The lineup pits champions against champions and top contenders against top contenders to form the strongest and most ambitious schedule in the industry.

  • Nine marquee events across five months featuring 21 undefeated fighters;

  • Two world championship unifications bouts, one for all four world title belts and the coveted title of Undisputed Champion, and one for three world title belts;

  • Seven world championship matches with at least 13 world title belts at stake and three world title eliminators;

  • All of the top-six ranked super welterweights fighting in a seven-week span;

  • Several pivotal crossroads fights from super bantamweight to super middleweight with an average of two events per month through July.

The schedule features the sport’s biggest stars: Errol Spence, Jr., Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Jermell Charlo, David Benavidez and Jermall Charlo.

Here’s Showtime/PBC schedule for the first half of the year:

March 26 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: The Armory, Minneapolis, Minn.

o Tim Tszyu vs. Terrell Gausha, Super Welterweight Bout

o Michel Rivera vs. Joseph Adorno, Lightweight Bout

o Elvis Rodriguez vs. Juan Jose Velasco, Super Lightweight (142 LBS) Bout

April 9 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: The Theatre at Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas

o Erickson Lubin vs. Sebastian Fundora, WBC Super Welterweight Interim Title

o Tony Harrison vs. Sergio Garcia, Super Welterweight Bout

o Kevin Salgado vs. Bryant Perrella, Super Welterweight Bout

April 16 – SHOWTIME PPV

Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas, WBC, WBA & IBF Welterweight World __Championship Unification

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (preceding PPV):

o Radzhab Butaev vs. Eimantas Stanionis, WBA Welterweight Title Bout

o Brandun Lee vs. Zachary Ochoa, Super Lightweight Bout

May 14 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: Los Angeles

o Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño II, Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Super __Welterweight World Championship Unification

o Jaron Ennis vs. Custio Clayton, IBF Welterweight Eliminator

May 21 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: Phoenix

o David Benavidez vs. David Lemieux, Super Middleweight Bout

o Yoelvis Gomez vs. Jorge Cota, Super Welterweight Bout

May 28 – SHOWTIME PPV

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

o Gervonta Davis vs. Rolando Romero, WBA Lightweight World Championship

June 4 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: Minneapolis

o Stephen Fulton, Jr. vs. Danny Roman, WBO & WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship

o David Morrell vs. Kalvin Henderson, WBA Super Middleweight World Title

June 18 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: Houston

o Jermall Charlo vs. Maciej Sulecki, WBC Middleweight World Championship

July 9 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING

Location: San Antonio

o Mark Magsayo vs. Rey Vargas, WBC Featherweight World Championship

Davis on fighting Sunday: ‘You have football during the day and boxing at night’

 Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz previewed their battle for Davis’ WBA Lightweight Title at a media workout Wednesday before they headline a SHOWTIME PPV this Sunday, December 5 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The workout also featured unbeaten super welterweight contender Sergio Garcia, who takes on rising star Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora in a WBC Super Welterweight World Title Eliminator that serves as the co-main event of the pay-per-view telecast beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Here is what Davis and Cruz had to say Wednesday from Wild Card Boxing in Los Angeles:

GERVONTA DAVIS

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

“The change in opponent didn’t affect much in my training. That’s just the sport of boxing. You have to be ready for anything. I always know that I have to adapt to whatever comes my way.

“Everyone says he’s going to come forward, but that’s easier said than done. If he does, we’ll give the fans an exciting fight. We know that’s his game plan. I just have to be smart, do what I do best and put on a perfect performance.

“Just make sure you tune into this fight. This is going to be a good one. I’ve been training 13 weeks for this, so I’m going to be ready and well prepared.

“It’s amazing to be fighting on Sunday. You have football during the day and boxing at night. I have a lot of young fans that watch me and I think this is going to be a great show.

“I’m excited to be in Los Angeles. I was made for this stage and I can’t wait to put on a great performance Sunday.

“Having a second child has matured me as a person and a fighter. I have two daughters to look after. I know I have to go out there and do my thing as a professional athlete, but I know the responsibility that also comes with being a father.”

ISAAC CRUZ

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

“We are extremely motivated for this fight. We have been training really hard and we’ve put in the maximum effort day after day. This Sunday, we’re going to be ready for the challenge.

“We have been preparing the best way that we can. We are going to fight smart. We’re going to stay within our style and then go forward with the best strategy to win the title.

“Gervonta is a great champion and if he said that I’m a tougher fight than Rolando Romero, then there is a reason for that. He knows that I’m a better fighter than Romero because he saw me fight in San Antonio. There is a reason for his comments.

“I’m here to do my job to win the fight, and whether it’s by decision or knockout I’m going to try to win no matter what.

“I am going to show everybody that Isaac Cruz is a true Mexican warrior and I’m going to show them what I’m worth with every punch I throw. They will see what I’m worth on Sunday, December 5.”

Luis Arias to battle Vaughn Alexander on non-televised undercard of Davis-Cruz

Super welterweight contender Luis “Cuba” Arias will take on veteran Vaughn Alexander in a 10-round showdown that tops the non-televised undercard this Sunday, December 5 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

The event is headlined by five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis defending his WBA Lightweight Title against hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz live on a SHOWTIME PPV telecast that begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The undercard will also feature undefeated prospects entering the ring as Baltimore’s Malik Warren (5-0, 5 KOs) takes on Eric Manriquez (7-12-1, 3 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight attraction, Washington, D.C.’s Jalil Hackett (2-0, 2 KOs) in a four-round welterweight showdown against Darynn Leyva (1-2-1, 1 KO), and heavyweight Carlos Garcon (2-0, 2 KOs) battling Jason Soto (3-1-1, 3 KOs) in a four-round duel.

A pair of female fights round out the lineup, as super flyweight contender Ava Knight (19-2-5, 5 KOs) faces New Orleans-native Indeya Smith (2-3-2, 1 KO) in an eight-round bout, and unbeaten prospect Mia Ellis (2-0, 2 KOs) competes in a four-round super featherweight contest against Elizabeth Tuani (1-4, 2 KOs).

Born in Milwaukee, Arias (19-2-1, 9 KOs) returned to the ring in June and earned a career-best victory in defeating former unified champion Jarrett Hurd on the Mayweather vs. Paul SHOWTIME PPV undercard. The 31-year-old has faced top competition throughout his career, including going the distance with former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in a 2017 duel. Arias racked up wins in his first 18 pro fights after turning pro in 2012 and the Mayweather Promotions’ fighter now trains in Las Vegas. He will be opposed by the St. Louis-native Alexander (15-6-1, 9 KOs), who most recently fought to a split-draw against Winfred Harris Jr. in August. The older brother of former two-division champion Devon, Alexander owns a victory over previously unbeaten Money Powell IV in 2019.

Davis: ‘(Isaac)Cruz coming forward could make the fight a lot easier for me’

Five-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis held a “Turkey Giveaway” on Tuesday, as the WBA Lightweight Champion, along with Mayweather Promotions, handed out 150 turkeys, plus gift cards and more to Las Vegas residents.

The giveaway took place following Davis’ media workout in preparation for his world title defense against hard-hitting contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz taking place Sunday, December 5 live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Here is what Davis, his trainer Calvin Ford, and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe had to say Tuesday from Mayweather Boxing Club:

GERVONTA DAVIS

Photo: Dave Mandel/SHOWTIME

“I really didn’t have a family that was together to celebrate Thanksgiving when I was young, but now I have my two little daughters, so I’m definitely looking forward to the holidays. I’m going to miss Thanksgiving because of the fight, but Christmas is going to be big this year.

“It’s always great to be able to help out. I was always looking for someone to help me when I was a kid, so to be in a position to help others now really means a lot.

“This is going to be an exciting fight. Cruz comes to fight each and every time. I’m just waiting to see what he brings to the table on December 5, and we’ll capitalize off of his mistakes.

“Cruz coming forward could make the fight a lot easier for me, but there are definitely challenges with that style too. He comes forward with his head a lot. I’m definitely going to be ready for that.

“The change in opponent didn’t really affect my mindset or my game plan. Trash talking doesn’t matter to me anyway. We all have to get out there and perform when it’s time to.

“Anything that he does dirty in there, I’ll be ready for. He better be prepared, because whatever he dishes out, I’m going to give it right back to him.

“He’s an explosive fighter. We have to see what he brings on December 5. I’m looking forward to it. I want to give the fans another action-packed fight.

“Fighting at STAPLES Center is big. I’m happy to be in this position to be able to go out there and put on a great performance. I’m just a kid from Baltimore city who’s trying to make something out of boxing, and we’re here now headlining at STAPLES Center. I’m definitely using that motivation to my advantage.”

Cruz on Davis: ‘When I win, I know he’s going to want the rematch’

Lightweight contender Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz has embraced the underdog role heading into his showdown against WBA Lightweight Champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis which headlines a SHOWTIME PPV on Sunday, December 5 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

“I have proven time and time again that my drive and desire to be champion is too big to be ignored,” said Cruz. “This fight won’t be the exception. I am going to pull off the upset and a brand new star will be born on December 5.”

The 23-year-old Cruz has put together a 21-fight unbeaten streak heading into his first world title clash, including most recently defeating former champion Francisco Vargas by unanimous decision live on SHOWTIME in June. Now, as he prepares to face the fast-rising star Davis, Cruz brings the hunger of an underdog into every aspect of his training.

“My motivation to be at my very best for this fight is the biggest key for me day in and day out,” said Cruz. “This is the fight that I’ve always dreamed of. The work we do in the gym, the runs I go on and the conditioning drills I push through, are all fueled by my motivation to make the most of this opportunity.”

The Mexico City-native is the latest in his family’s deep history in the sport, as he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather Memo, his father Isaac Sr., his uncles Eduardo and Guillermo, and his older brother Diego, who all fought professionally. Despite that familial pressure, Cruz was actually initially interested in the sport to keep himself on a positive path in life.

“Boxing was always in my blood, but my main motivation to get into boxing as a kid was steering myself away from bad role models and influences in my neighborhood,” said Cruz. “I was six-years-old when I decided to tag along to the gym one day with my grandpa, and I really liked it. A passion for the sport was born, and now it’s just a full-blown love story between boxing and I.”

In addition to his family, Cruz had heard from the legendary Mexican champion Julio César Chávez before securing the Davis fight. The conversation turned out not only to be prescient, but added another motivating factor for Cruz heading into this fight.

“Chávez told me to make sure I’m always staying ready in case that fight with Gervonta was going to become a reality,” said Cruz. “Afterwards, he told me that I have the courage needed to defeat Gervonta. The fact that he said that to me speaks volumes about the strides I’ve made as a person and as a fighter.”

Cruz will be looking to take advantage of the strong contingent of Mexican and Mexican-American boxing fans in Los Angeles who will surely be in his corner on fight night against Davis. Despite that expected edge, Cruz knows he can’t rely on it to help him in the ring.

“I am so happy to be fighting in Los Angeles with all of the Mexican fans,” said Cruz. “But I have to remember that in the end, it’s just going to be me and Gervonta face-to-face in the ring. Of course it motivates me that I’m going to feel right at home. But I just can’t let it distract me or trick me into becoming overconfident.

“Defeating Gervonta Davis is the only thing on my mind. When I win, I know he’s going to want the rematch and I can promise that I will train twice as hard for that fight when it happens.”

Davis on fight with Cruz: ‘This is going to be one of the best fights of the year’

Unbeaten five-time world champion and boxing’s hottest attraction Gervonta “Tank” Davis and hard-hitting Isaac “Pitbull’’ Cruz previewed their showdown for Davis’ WBA Lightweight Championship during a virtual press conference Monday before they square off on Sunday, December 5 live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Davis’ third-straight pay-per-view headlining attraction will see him take on the IBF-ranked No. 2 lightweight in Cruz, a Mexico City-native who has earned his ‘Pitbull’ moniker through his hardnosed style.

Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday:

GERVONTA DAVIS

Photo: Amanda Westscott/Showtime

“I’m happy and excited to be in this position, I’ve been working hard getting ready for this new opponent. I know Cruz is going to come to fight. The fans are going to be the winners in this fight, because we’re both coming in prepared to be at our best. I’m ready to put on a great show on December 5.

“Anything can happen in boxing, so I just try to stay on task. I’m always ready to step up to any challenge thrown my way and get the job done.

“This is a more interesting fight now, because we both come forward. This is going to be something great for the fans and another exciting night for the sport of boxing. May the best man win. We’re both coming with our ‘A’ games.

“He can say I haven’t faced someone like him, but he’s never fought anybody like me either. I can box and I can hit. We’ll see what he’s saying when he gets hit in the face.

“December 5 is going to be fireworks for sure. It’s going to be something you can’t miss. Don’t go get your popcorn or anything like that during this fight. This is another tough task, but this is what I’m made for.

“You always have to adapt in boxing. No matter what comes your way. I’m going to adapt to Cruz. I’m figuring out every day how Cruz is thinking and what he’s going to bring to the fight.

“Cruz has impressed me in his past fights. He comes in there to win. He doesn’t look to just hang in there. He wants to go in and take it. He’s not an opponent I can overlook. A win over him would be big for me.

“It is different training to fight a shorter opponent. I usually fight guys taller than me, so it’s an adjustment. It’s another thing I have to adapt to. Everything we’re doing is to figure him out.

“December 5 is going to be a fireworks show. This is going to be one of the best fights of the year. It’s not just a boxing match, it’s an event. Make sure you come out.

“I’m excited to be in this position. I’m grateful for it. I’m trying to continue to grow as a fighter and just improve each day.”

ISAAC CRUZ

“December 5 is going to be a great fight. I’m ready to shock the world and become the next star in the pantheon of Mexican boxing champions.

“I’m ready to put on a show on December 5 at STAPLES Center. There were a wide-array of feelings when I knew I got this fight, but most of all, it made me really motivated to be ready for this opportunity.

“We are not overconfident in any way, but Gervonta has not fought anyone with my style and with my characteristics. We’re working really hard to make sure my style will work the best that it can on December 5.

“The real winner of this fight is going to be the fans. ‘Pitbull’ and ‘Tank’ are going to crash into each other and people will be on the edge of their seats.

“I can guarantee that I’m hungry and motivated to win this fight. I’m fighting for more than myself, I’m fighting for my family and to make my country proud. I know that if I win this fight, it will change my whole career.

“The key to defeating Gervonta is for me to want it more. I want that belt in my hand. It’s going to come down to determination.

“I’m always thankful for the opportunities I get. It’s my job to work hard and take advantage of each opportunity as I get them. I’m going to come forward and present my power. Once he feels my power, the fight is going to turn toward me.

“It’s up to Gervonta to show that he’s a superstar in the ring. I don’t see him as an impossible task to defeat at all.

“I always want to fight the best and Gervonta is one of the best. I’m training really hard so that I’m up to that challenge.”

Davis: ‘I respect Isaac Cruz for stepping up and taking the fight, but everyone knows what I do’

Unbeaten five-time world champion and boxing’s hottest attraction Gervonta “Tank” Davis will defend his WBA Lightweight Championship against hard-hitting Isaac “Pitbull’’ Cruz on Sunday, December 5 live on SHOWTIME PPV from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Cruz, ranked No. 2 in the IBF, steps in to replace Rolando Romero, who withdrew from the fight after he was recently accused of sexual assault.

Davis’ third-straight pay-per-view headlining attraction will see him battle the hardnosed Cruz, who has rightly earned the nickname “Pitbull’’ during his professional career.

Davis (25-0, 24 KOs), star of the Mayweather Promotions stable, added another highlight filled performance in June, as he stopped previously unbeaten Mario Barrios to capture a 140-pound title and become a three-division world champion. The Baltimore-native captured his lightweight championship with a 12th-round knockout of former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in December 2019.

“I respect Isaac Cruz for stepping up and taking the fight, but everyone knows what I do,” said Davis. “I come in looking for the knockout and that’s exactly what I’m going to do in this fight. I’m back in Los Angeles where the stars shine and I’m going to light it up against Isaac Cruz at STAPLES Center on December 5.’’

The 23-year-old Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) will be looking to rough up Davis and make him work overtime if he wants to come away with the win. A native of Mexico City, Cruz shot up the lightweight rankings in 2020, announcing his presence with an electrifying first-round knockout over veteran Diego Magdaleno in September. Cruz followed that up in 2021 by winning a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Matías Romero in March, and most recently defeating former champion Francisco Vargas by decision in June. Since making his U.S. debut in December 2019, the 23-year-old has gone unbeaten in his next four ring appearances, appearing on SHOWTIME three times in addition to beating Magdaleno on the Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz SHOWTIME PPV undercard.

“First I want to thank Gervonta Davis and his team for this opportunity – an opportunity I won’t let get past me,’’ Cruz said. “God willing I’ll be world champion on December 5. This fight is a very big motivation for me as a professional and as a personal goal. I’m sure after December 5 everyone in boxing will know the name Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.’’

Mayweather on Tank Davis: ‘He has the potential to be one of the greatest ever’

 

Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a star, and after what he did on Saturday night, that stardom will only grow. Davis scored an 11th round TKO over the previously undefeated Mario Barrios to capture the WBA(Regular) Super Lightweight Championship at State Farm Arena in Atlanta(Showtime PPV).

Davis(25-0, 24 KOs) and Barrios(26-1, 17 KOs) combined to put on an unforgettable main event in front of a sold-out crowd of 16,570. After a slow start, “Tank” sent Barrios to the canvas for both the first and second times of his career in the eighth round. First, Davis connected on a sweeping right hook that sent the former champion to the canvas. Moments later, a straight left hand by Davis dropped Barrios again. The brave Barrios rose to his feet, surviving Davis’ attempts to finish him.

With his promoter Floyd Mayweather encouraging Davis in his corner and telling him that he was down on the scorecards, the Baltimore native came out rejuvenated in the eleventh round, realizing that the fight could be close on the scorecards. “Tank” dropped Barrios for the third time in the fight, this time with a left uppercut to the body. The bloodied Barrios rose again, only to be greeted with another barrage of punches from Davis.

Referee Thomas Taylor stepped in to stop the fight at 2:13 of the eleventh round.

“Floyd [Mayweather] came to me and was honest and said I was down,” Davis said, who was actually ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage. “So he said, ‘show me that you’re great.’ And you know how we do it in the doghouse, baby!””

According to Mayweather, Davis can be one of the greatest of all-time.

“He has the potential to be one of the greatest ever,” said Mayweather. “When I first met ‘Tank’ when he was 14 or 15 years old, I told him I’d make him a world champion. And that you’ll be one of the best someday. I’m proud of him.”

Davis has options from 130 to 140. Many great fights to be made for Davis, but the business of boxing might get in the way. More than likely, he’ll probably fight someone on the PBC side. Maybe a fight with WBA 130-pound interim champion Chris Colbert, or perhaps a fight with Mikey Garcia at 140. It should be interesting to see how they move Davis at this point, but it’s beyond clear that he is one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing.