Four-weight champion Leo Santa Cruz believes a victory over Gervonta Davis will propel him to superstar status and a renewed standing in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Santa Cruz will face vaunted puncher Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) for WBA 130lbs and 135lbs title belts in a Showtime Pay-Per-View event at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on October 31, with socially distanced fans in attendance.
The Mexican-American is expecting an early onslaught, but has been sparring welterweights in preparation for Davis’ heavy hands.
“This is a hard fight. It’s the toughest fight of my career,” said WBA Super 130lbs champion Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs). “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.
“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.
“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.”