SAN ANTONIO – Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and their teams are satisfied with the panel of judges and referee who’ve been approved to work their title fight Saturday night.
The Texas Combative Sports Program has assigned Connecticut’s Glenn Feldman, California’s Alejandro Rochin and Oklahoma’s David Sutherland to judge their 12-round, 130-pound championship match at Alamodome. Texas’ Rafael Ramos has been appointed as the referee for their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
“I expect it to be a highly competitive fight,” Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, told BoxingScene.com following their press conference Thursday. “And Tank has gotta get started early because, again, we never want to leave it in a situation where – we’ve got great judges and all of that – but we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re relying on that. Because we’ve been in situations where we’ve seen a guy who’s the best fighter in the world dominate a guy for 12 rounds, and one of the judges had it a draw.
“And we’ve been in a fight where we’ve moved up in weight, when he was on the B side and he fights the A-side fighter, and clearly wins that fight, and they have the other guy winning the fight. What do they have in common? And that’s how I’ll close.”
Ellerbe referred to Floyd Mayweather’s points victories over Canelo Alvarez and Oscar De La Hoya, who later became Alvarez’s promoter.
Mayweather decisively defeated Alvarez in their 12-round junior middleweight title fight seven years ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The undefeated five-division champion won by majority decision, however, because judge CJ Ross somehow scored their fight a draw (114-114).
Judges Craig Metcalfe (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112) respectively scored nine and eight rounds for Mayweather.
Six years earlier, Mayweather defeated De La Hoya by split decision in their 12-round, 154-pound championship match, also at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Judges Chuck Giampa (116-112) and Jerry Roth (115-113) scored that fight for Mayweather, but Tom Kaczmarek credited De La Hoya with a 115-113 victory.
Baltimore’s Davis, who is promoted by Mayweather’s company, has knocked out all but one of his pro opponents (23-0, 22 KOs). Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs), of Rosemead, California, has gone 12 rounds 10 times and he hasn’t been knocked out in 39 professional fights.
Santa Cruz’s lone loss was a 12-round, majority-decision defeat to Carl Frampton in July 2016 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He avenged that setback in their immediate rematch, which Santa Cruz won by majority decision in January 2017 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
As for the Davis-Santa Cruz judges, Feldman most recently scored the Sergey Lipinets-Custio Clayton fight a draw, 114-114, on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Lipinets and Clayton settled for a majority draw in their 12-round fight for the vacant IBF interim welterweight title.
Judge Tom Schreck scored Lipinets-Clayton the same as Feldman, 114-114. Judge Don Trella scored Clayton a 115-113 winner.
In Rochin’s most recent high-profile fight, he scored Deontay Wilder a 115-111 winner against Tyson Fury. Their WBC heavyweight title fight resulted in a 12-round split draw in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Judge Robert Tapper scored that fight for Fury, 114-112. Judge Phil Edwards scored the first Fury-Wilder fight a draw, 113-113.
In Sutherland’s most recent significant fight, he scored Jermall Charlo a 118-110 winner over Sergiy Derevyanchenko on September 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena. Judges Tim Cheatham (116-112) and Steve Weisfeld (117-111) scored Charlo the winner of their WBC middleweight title bout by slimmer margins.
Sutherland also scored Jessica McCaskill a 97-93 victor versus long-reigning women’s welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus on August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. McCaskill, who upset Braekhus by majority decision, won 97-94 on judge Gerald Ritter’s card, but Karen Holderfield had their 10-rounder even (95-95).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.