Days away from the biggest fight of his career against Leo Santa Cruz on Oct. 31 on Showtime pay per view, Gervonta Davis is having a mea culpa about his most recent match.
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) scored a 12th round TKO win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in December, but the feat came after the hobbled 38-year-old Cuban gold medalist hurt his Achilles in the second round, an injury that required surgery shortly after the fight.
Davis told Showtime's "All The Smoke," a digital show headed by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, that he wasn’t proud of his overall showing, even though he scored knockdowns in rounds 2, 8 and 12.
“I watched the Gamboa fight a couple of weeks later and I turned it off. That wasn't my best performance,” said Davis. “That's why now, I moved my training camp to Las Vegas [at Mayweather Boxing Club] so I can be able to put on a better performance. I think that was bad for my fans. I'm definitely coming back stronger and better. I will make it up for my last fight.”
Davis was clearly not pleased with his output, even though he outlanded Gamboa 120 to 78. Gamboa, however, was the busier fighter with one bad leg, throwing 617 punches compared to 321 from Davis. Davis was impressive with his accuracy however and also connected on 48% of his power punches, per CompuBox.
At the time of the stoppage, Davis was ahead on the cards 109 to 98 twice, and 109 to 97. BoxingScene.com had it scored 108 to 99, with Gamboa winning rounds 7 and 10.
At the Alamodome in San Antonio, Santa Cruz is expected to be a more staunch challenge for Davis in the super featherweight showdown.
“Leo Santa Cruz is my toughest opponent up to date. He's going to bring his best,” said Davis. “I know when it's time to get serious. I know how to focus no matter what's going on around me. That's what makes me so special.”
The fight will be contested at 130 pounds, and Davis wants to make sure he avoids any issues on the scales. Against Gamboa, Davis had to make weight in his second attempt. Davis has also missed weight in the past with previous opponents.
“I want to put on a great performance. I want to make weight the first time,” said Davis. “I don’t think it’s going to be a hard time for me making weight. I’m making it easily. I’m walking around close to 130. There is a penalty [for missing weight]. I don’t know what it is, but there is money involved. I’m definitely making weight, for sure.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.