Gervonta Davis will take on Isaac Cruz on Dec. 5 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to headline a Showtime pay-per-view.
The lightweight contender Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) is a replacement opponent substituting in for Rolando Romero, who was pulled from the announced fight following a series of sexual assault allegations.
Over the last two years, Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) has crusaded across three divisions and scored knockout wins against Mario Barrios at 140 pounds, Leo Santa Cruz at 130 pounds and Yuriorkis Gamboa at 135 pounds.
The aforementioned foes are certainly credible challengers, but they’re not the much-desired dance partners that a majority of the boxing public wants Davis to fight. The top names, in alphabetical order, include Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez Jr., Regis Prograis, Shakur Stevenson and Josh Taylor.
Davis defended himself by saying the same could be said for others.
“They’re saying Mayweather Promotions are protecting me and not letting me fight top fighters,” Davis told The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer. “Whoever is in the top four, I don’t know who they’re talking about. Name somebody that is fighting the top whoever. You don’t see any other top fighters fighting top guys. I don’t know when it’s going to happen. It’ll probably happen next year or the year after that. I don’t know but don’t just put everything on me and say I’m not fighting top guys.
“The only guy that fought somebody but didn't want to give him his rematch [to Lomachenko] is Teofimo. He didn’t even know he was going to beat him. I don’t even want to talk about him because I don’t want to give anybody else press but name the other top guys that are fighting top guys. Y’all keep saying, ‘Gervonta, Gervonta, Gervonta.’ It’s only because I’m doing the [pay-per-view] numbers I’m doing and not even saying I’m fighting top guys. I’m not fighting the guys that y’all want me to fight. That’s why y’all keep screaming out my name, that’s why. That’s the only thing I can say because nobody else is fighting top guys. Name them if they’re fighting. It’s nobody. What’s the guy [Haney] that is going to fight right before me [on Dec. 4]. JoJo [Diaz] is not a top guy. He’s not.”
Davis will be fighting for the third consecutive time on Showtime pay per view. Judging by both the PPV buy rates and gate receipts he’s pulled for his previous three fights, Tank is a box office bulldozer.
That puts him in a much more desirable position than his opponents in calling the shots.
Davis said he’s never turned down a challenge and that he’s ready to pounce on the opposition whenever he feels is the best time to make the right fights.
“Nobody ever came and said 'do you want to fight this fighter' and I said 'no.' You can ask Mayweather Promotions or Al Haymon. They never came to me and said a fighter's name, and I said 'no.' Never,” said Davis.
“There are so many people calling my name. It’s more so I have to catch them when I can catch them. That's where I am at right now. Sit back. They are calling my name. Okay. Catch them at the right time. Catch them while they're sleeping. That's what I am doing. Just pop right up on them. Say, 'here it is. You've been calling my name.’”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com