WBA super featherweight champion Leo ‘El Terremoto’ Santa Cruz 37-1-1 (19) has admitted his bout against WBA ‘regular’ lightweight titleholder Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 23-0 (22) won’t be easy but says these are the type of fights he wants to stake his claim as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
The fight between Santa Cru and Davis will take place at 130-pounds with both titles on the line at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on October 31 live on pay-per-view.
“This is a hard fight. It’s the toughest fight of my career. We’re facing a tough fighter with great skills. I know he’s going to come with everything he has and be at his best,” the 32-year-old Mexican said.
“I’m determined to go 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, so I know we’re both going to go out there and give it our all for the fans.
“We’ve been sparring with bigger guys who fight at 147 pounds. I think that’s going to make me able to take his punches. I’m eating a little better and feeling strong. I’m doing everything I can to be able to take his punches.
“Davis is a strong fighter, especially in the first five rounds. He’s always dangerous, but if I see him gassing out, I’m going to pressure him and break him down. I think that I can frustrate him.
“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. If I beat him, I know that everyone will have to say that I’m one of the best fighters in the world.
“I think my future will be at 130 pounds. I want to defend the title and unify but if there’s a fight that makes sense at 135 pounds, I’ll definitely take it.”
Davis, 25, of Baltimore moved up to lightweight last year after struggling to continue making the super featherweight limit. Three years ago he was stripped of his IBF 130-pound title after missing weight by two pounds ahead of his eighth-round knockout of Francisco Fonseca.
“There’s no concern from us about his weight. He’s been training hard and he looks like he’s in good shape. He fought during Christmas last time, but I know this time he’ll be ready,” Satna Cruz said.
“The only concern my team had at the beginning was whether he’d make weight, but that isn’t a concern anymore. We’re working hard in the gym on how to avoid the big shots. We know we have to fight a perfect fight and that’s what we’re going to do.
“We have to fight from the outside because we know that ‘Tank’ can hit. But I always try to give the fans a great fight, so there’s going to be times I’m brawling with him. We’re going to go back and forth. If I feel like I can take his punches, I’m going to be right in his face.”