SAN ANTONIO – Gervonta Davis looked relaxed before he stepped on the scale Friday afternoon.
Davis and his entire team collectively breathed a sigh of relief when it read 129.8 pounds. After months of speculation regarding Davis’ ability to make weight, the unbeaten Baltimore native officially came in slightly under the contracted maximum of 130 pounds for his 12-round fight against Leo Santa Cruz on Saturday night at Alamodome.
The 25-year-old Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) only needed to step on the Texas Combative Sports Program’s scale once to make weight. Davis would’ve been obligated to pay Santa Cruz a substantial financial penalty if he officially weighed more than 130 pounds.
The 32-year-old Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) officially weighed 129.6 pounds for their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
The scene inside a ballroom at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter was vastly different from Davis’ previous weigh-in.
Davis arrived nearly two hours late and was 1¼ pounds overweight December 27 for his fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa, even though he moved up from the 130-pound division to 135 for that fight. While on stage, Davis shoved Gamboa, which ignited a brawl inside Compound, a nightclub in Atlanta.
Davis eventually returned to the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission’s scale at 134½ pounds for their 12-round, 135-pound championship match December 28.
Davis dropped Gamboa three times – once apiece in the second, eighth and 12th rounds – before referee Jack Reiss halted the action at 1:17 of the 12th round at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The left-handed Davis realized training in his hometown of Baltimore distracted him after the Gamboa debacle.
That’s what made him spend three months training at promoter Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas for the Santa Cruz fight. He hired a chef for the first time and dropped weight at an appropriate pace for his return to the 130-pound division.
Davis is listed by most sports books as a 7-1 favorite over Santa Cruz.
They’ll fight for Santa Cruz’s WBA “super” 130-pound title. Davis’ WBA world lightweight title is on the line as well, despite that Davis and Santa Cruz could not weigh in above the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds.
The official weights for the seven fights on the Davis-Santa Cruz undercard are listed below.
Showtime Pay-Per-View ($74.99); 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs), San Antonio, 139.6 pounds vs. Ryan Karl (18-2, 12 KOs), Milano, Texas, 140 pounds, 12 rounds for Barrios’ WBA world super lightweight title.
Regis Progais (24-1, 20 KOs), Katy, Texas, 141.6 pounds vs. Juan Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs), North Las Vegas, Nevada, 139.6 pounds, 10 rounds, junior welterweights. (The contract weight is 140 pounds. Representatives for Prograis and Heraldez reached an agreement for Prograis to pay an undisclosed part of his purse to Heraldez. Prograis did not attempt to weigh in again.)
Isaac Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KOs), Mexico City, 132 pounds vs. Diego Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs), Las Vegas, 134.8 pounds, 12 rounds, IBF lightweight elimination match.
Non-televised fights; 5:50 p.m. ET/2:50 p.m. PT
Michel Rivera (18-0, 12 KOs), Miami, 134.8 pounds vs. Ladarius Miller (21-1, 6 KOs), Las Vegas, 138.4 pounds, 10 rounds for the USBA lightweight title. (Miller came in 3.4 pounds overweight. If their fight still takes place, the USBA belt will only be at stake for Rivera unless Miller gets down to 135 pounds or lower.)
Jerry Perez (12-0, 9 KOs), Oak Hills, California, 135 pounds vs. Joshua Zuniga (11-1, 6 KOs), Torrance, California, 134.4 pounds, 8 rounds, lightweights.
Julian Rodarte (17-0-1, 7 KOs), Los Angeles, 136.4 pounds vs. Jose Morales (8-8, 2 KOs, 1 NC), Thornton, Colorado, 140.6 pounds, 8 rounds, junior welterweights.
Anthony Cuba (pro debut), Fontana, California, 133.6 pounds vs. Leon Cavalli (1-1, 1 KO), Medford, Oregon, 134.8 pounds, 4 rounds, lightweights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.