Gervonta Davis is keen to prove he is at the forefront of boxing’s new wave of young stars with an eye-catching performance against four-weight champion Leo Santa Cruz at the Alamodome, San Antonio, on Saturday night.
The power of Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is undeniable, but Floyd Mayweather’s star pupil was on the end of a social media backlash after struggling on the scales before a below-par showing against Cuban veteran Yuriorkis Gamboa (WTKO12) last December.
The clash with Santa Cruz brings greater challenges with the weight limit set 5lbs lighter than the Gamboa fight as the Mexican American’s WBA Super 130lbs title is on the line as well as Davis’ WBA Regular 135lbs crown. Should Davis miss the weight, a stiff financial penalty is in place, but the Baltimore banger has left nothing to chance.
“My team and I decided to move our camp to Las Vegas so we could have a perfect camp. We spent 15 weeks in training, so I’m well prepared. Hopefully, Leo is well prepared and we give the fans what they want to see,” said Davis, 25.
“We know Leo is going to come with a lot of punches and I’m going to be explosive. It’s all about giving fans a treat. I’m grateful to be in this position and I’m ready. Saturday night is going to be a memorable night.
“Not to take anything from him, Yuriorkis Gamboa was just trying to survive against me. It’s harder to get punches off when someone isn’t trying to bring the fight. I know Leo is going to come to fight. I think this performance is going to put me up to the next level.
“I don’t think I have to knock him out, I just have to go out there and be great. Forget everything else, I just have to go out there and show everyone that I’m the top guy in the boxing world. That’s my main goal.
“Michael Jordan used to read the paper and do what they said he couldn’t do,” continued Davis. “That’s what I’m doing. I have to prove that I’m the baddest man in the sport on Saturday night.
“Leo is going to come to fight and it’s just about me stepping up and doing what I do best. You can see the potential in a fighter from the outside, but you have to see it actually come out in a fight to believe it. That’s the position I’m in. Everyone knows I’m great, I just have to show it.”
Davis-Santa Cruz will be shown live and free on Channel 5 in the UK from 2am on Sunday morning and broadcast on Showtime PPV in the US from 9pm ET/6pm PT on Saturday evening.
Main image: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions.