Written by Tré Berry III | 12/06/2021
Superstar high ranked Lightweight contender 🇺🇸Gervonta “Tank” Davis’s (26-0-0, 24KO) last minute PPV experiment appears to be a very successful one in the long run, as late replacement Lightweight contender 🇲🇽Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (22-2-1, 15KO) lived up to his moniker by relentlessly taking the fight to Davis void of any fear, and made it an eventful, fun friendly fight for the large gathering of fans at the sold out Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Davis, who paid a tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant in the building that he built, dawned Laker colors to commemorate the all-time great.
Davis was intent on getting pitbull out of there with some serious firepower behind the uppercuts thrown and landed, but Cruz looked to be virtually indestructible, and threw the bombs nonstop through 36 minutes. While Davis rightfully walked away with the Unanimous Decision win, Cruz was good enough to bring some real worry for the Davis contingent in multiple spots throughout the fight, and will greatly benefit in loss through impressing the Mexican fanbase, who will be very receptive to his all out, aggressive style.
THE MAIN EVENT ACTION THAT SUPPORTED THE PAY-PER-VIEW TAG
Pitbull had himself a good 1st round, getting down low in the peek-a-boo stance, and coming forward, while Tank operated off of the back foot. Cruz caught Tank with a good left hook early to get his attention, and looked to work the body throughout. With Cruz penchant to duck down low, Gervonta unleashed a few furious counter uppercuts to catch him while coming in.
Cruz living up to his nickname of “Pitbull”, came forward aggressively with no fear of the former three time Super-Featherweight titlist, looking to bang to the body. Davis later in the 3rd round found that he operated much better with a little bit of distance and an open stance in order to counter.
The first half of the 4th round was very strong for Isaac Cruz, actively hammering away at the body with the left hook and the uppercut, but as time continued in the round, Tank routinely took a step back when Cruz came in, to wing the menacing right uppercut that he couldn’t miss with.
Tank’s counterpunching ability was in full focus in the 5th round, turning Cruz often, getting him out of position, and firing right hooks, and left hands with power and precision. Though he was scoring with it, Cruz was taking the power remarkably well.
The one dimensional attack of Pitbull was becoming a detriment, as Tank began to fully adapt to his attack, and began to pick away at the gutsy Mexican warrior with every punch in the book, and leaping out of position whenever Cruz committed to fire, only to be met by a bevy of counterpunches.
The 7th round was indeed an explosive one, and was one featuring Gervonta’s growing confidence at the first sign of blood coming from the nose of Cruz, and he stood his ground center ring, fully letting his hands go without restriction.
Cruz’s accuracy was drastically decreasing as Gervonta seemed to have him fully figured out, though Tank kept making the mistake of remaining in the firing range after unleashing the uppercut, to where Cruz was able to land a few strong ones himself in reciprocation towards the end of the 8th.
The jury is in…Tank Davis has a very solid chin, because periodically in the 9th round, he was taking some serious uppercuts and left hooks from the miniature Cruz. In this round, Davis began to load up on the uppercut to muster up what was needed to try and stop him, but it made them telegraphed.
Round 10, Tank Davis was looking to continuously pop shot, and was doing a very solid job in doing so, until he got pinned on the ropes, and got belted with a mammoth left hook from Cruz that momentarily staggered the Baltimore fighter. Gervonta spent the majority of the end of the round backpedaling, trying to get his bearings together and stay out of range.
Down the stretch of the fight in the Championship rounds, the tension at the Staples Center was palpable, and each fighter had standout moments. Cruz finished up strong throwing the bombs all the way up until the 12th and final bell, bringing an appreciative crowd in Los Angeles to a crescendo of appreciation.
Cruz got a roaring ovation from the crowd as his Trainer hoisted him on his shoulders for the Mexican fanbase, and the appreciative fans to serenade him. Though the decision didn’t go his way, Isaac Cruz will be someone that people will want to see back in the ring, as guaranteed excitement.
By way of Unanimous Decision, Gervonta Davis picked up the victory to remain a top contender in the Lightweight division. Davis was unusually celebratory about getting the decision, something to be noted.
After the fight when speaking with Jim Gray, Tank indicated that he hurt his left hand by about the 6th round due to landing it on top of the head of the built low Cruz, who repeatedly ducked down while coming in.
He was asked about the prospects of fighting Undisputed Lightweight Champion 🇦🇺🇬🇷George Kambosos Jnr., or with top contender 🇺🇸Devin Haney, he made a blanket claim by stating all those guys at the top of the division is easy work – yet it has to be called out that he didn’t make any verbal commitment’s toward their names whatsoever, which will irritate the contingent of people who feel that Davis and crew has been avoiding top talent throughout the divisions. That will be another topic for another day.
All in all for Gervonta Davis…this was his third Pay-Per-View event in a row, and like the others, the atmosphere in the building was electric. How the numbers will pan out…who knows, but he seems to be galvanizing a level of onlookers to warrant the hype of star power that he indeed does have, and when…(or if)…he ever opens up towards fighting the truly elite fighters at Lightweight and Junior-Welterweight, those factoids will be his bargaining chip towards commanding the A-side, and forcing the fighters to bend to his will at the negotiation table…but once again, in order for that to happen, it is now time to take the protective promotional suit off of what is a skillfully dangerous fighter, for him to finally take legitimate chances.