Assuming they don’t fight to a draw, Gervonta Davis or Leo Santa Cruz will leave the ring October 31 with world titles in two weight classes.
Davis and Santa Cruz believe that the winner of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event also should earn more esteem among fans and media. They agreed during a virtual press conference Tuesday that whoever emerges victorious from their 12-round, 130-pound title fight deserves a place on pound-for-pound lists.
Neither Davis nor Santa Cruz is ranked among the top 10, pound-for-pound, by BoxingScene.com, ESPN.com or The Ring magazine.
“I think that I deserve to be in the pound-for-pound top 10 if I beat Tank Davis because, you know, Tank Davis is a great fighter,” Santa Cruz said. “He’s one of the best out there. I think nobody wants to fight him, and, you know, I chose to fight him. I picked him. I said I wanted to fight him. My team got that fight, and so I beat him October 31st, I think I deserve to be in the top 10 pound-for-pound and one of the best.”
The 32-year-old Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) has won world titles in four divisions. He added the WBA “super” 130-pound crown in his most recent bout, a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Houston’s Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) last November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Santa Cruz previously held championships in the bantamweight (118 pounds), junior featherweight (122) and featherweight (126) divisions.
The 25-year-old Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is a two-division champion and one of the sport’s most punishing punchers. He has drawn criticism, however, for his level of opposition during his ascent toward stardom.
The strong southpaw stopped former three-division champ Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) in the 12th round of his last fight, December 28 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. That victory earned the ex-IBF/WBA junior lightweight champ the WBA world lightweight title.
Baltimore’s Davis and Santa Cruz, of Rosemead, California, will fight for Santa Cruz’s WBA 130-pound crown and Davis’ 135-pound championship October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio.
“I agree with Leo,” Davis said. “The winner should be, you know, at least in the top 10 pound-for-pound. … Just, you know, top pound-for-pound, one through 10, pound-for-pound. The winner take it all, they’ll be a champion at 130 and 135. Mostly I’m focused on getting the win. You know, I let the fans make their opinion on the fight and things like that, where I stand. I know where I stand as myself and my team, so it really doesn’t matter to me. I just wanna get the win and get a win impressively.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.