By: Sean Crose
Gervonta “Tank” Davis put his 25-0 record, as well as his WBA lightweight title, on the line against the 22-1-1 Isaac Cruz Sunday in a scheduled 12 round affair that Showtime Pay Per View aired live from LA’s Staple’s Center. The first round was extremely interesting. Cruz was all action, while Davis was able to land hard. By round’s end, Davis got rocked, and Cruz went down to the canvas courtesy of a slip. Davis effectively employed distance in the second, which allowed him to land his missile-like shots. Still, Cruz had his moments when he was able to close in on the defending champion.
Davis started to take control in the third, using his superior speed and skill set to keep the aggressive Cruz effectively at bay. Cruz went on to land well to the body in the fourth, while Davis had the flashier moments. Things became intriguing in the sixth as Cruz continued to work the body while employing a Tysonesque bob and weave defense. Davis, though, was able to keep having his fast, hard, fluid moments. Davis went on to have a very good sixth, nicely keeping his distance in order to anticipate his opponent’s next move.
The seventh saw Davis really land in a manner that made it seem that perhaps Cruz was starting to break down. Yet Cruz continued to land to his opponent’s body. Cruz went on to land well with an uppercut at the end of the eighth, but Davis had truly masterful moments during the round, acting almost as a bullfighter to Cruz’ bull. It was obvious in the ninth that Davis was in a real fight. Still, the defending champion’s incredibly crisp output ultimately told the tale of the round.
Cruz not only landed on Davis in the tenth – he landed in combinations and looked like he may have hurt Davis a bit. By the eleventh, Cruz was able to firmly and regularly land on Davis, punishing the champion’s body while he kept to his task. It appeared that the southpaw Davis had a hurt left hand in the twelfth and final round – but he boxed brilliantly for the final three minutes of the match. When the judges gave their decision, they ruled in favor of Davis unanimously.
It was impressive showing for Davis, who after the fight revealed he had a hurt left hand. Not only did the Baltimore native fight the pain, he was able to best a very game challenger, as well.