SAN ANTONIO – Floyd Mayweather was much more involved than usual in Gervonta Davis’ preparation for his fight against Leo Santa Cruz.
Mayweather, whose company promotes Davis, played an active role in Davis’ training camp at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas, where Davis spent more than three months getting ready for this 130-pound title fight. Davis and his head trainer, Calvin Ford, would welcome Mayweather into the Baltimore native’s corner Saturday night, but it hadn’t been determined as of Friday morning if Mayweather would do that.
“My arms are open if he wanna be in the corner,” Davis told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Thursday. “But I know for sure he’ll be near the corner. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as we get the job done. I don’t care who in the corner. It could be anybody on my team, as long as we get the job done. But I know for sure he gonna be there, be near [the corner]. He’ll definitely be yelling. If he in the corner or if he not, getting the job done, that’s the whole goal. We came here to get the job done.”
Even if Mayweather doesn’t work Davis’ corner in an official capacity, he’ll be seated nearby, yelling instructions throughout their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at Alamodome. That’s what the retired superstar did during Davis’ 12th-round technical knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa on December 28 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
“Floyd is always in the corner with us,” Ford said. “That’s what people don’t understand. He’s always close, and we have certain signals. We really work together on things. He’s always in the corner with us.”
Ford seconded Davis’ stance regarding Mayweather’s involvement on fight night.
“We haven’t talked about it,” Ford said. “If it happens, that doesn’t make a difference because he’s been in the corner with me throughout the whole camp. So, if he chooses to come in the corner with me, we’re gonna do what we do to get the job done. The main thing we care about is getting the job done.”
In the opposite corner, Leo Santa Cruz’s confidence has been boosted because his father, Jose, is healthy enough to have traveled here from Southern California for the biggest fight of his son’s career. Jose Santa Cruz, already a cancer survivor, nearly died from COVID-19 over the summer, when he was hospitalized for a month.
Jose Santa Cruz won’t walk up and down the steps between rounds, but he’ll relay instructions to his son from their corner. Antonio Santa Cruz, Leo’s brother and assistant trainer, will face Leo in the ring between rounds.
“If my dad wasn’t able to be here with me, I don’t know if I would’ve even been able to fight because my mind wouldn’t be here,” Santa Cruz told BoxingScene.com. “I wouldn’t even have been able to concentrate because I’m used to my dad always being there with me. Just having his presence here is a great comfort to me. It’s a relief to have him here with me. I’m just happy and excited that he was able to come with me.”
Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) and Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will fight for Santa Cruz’s WBA “super” 130-pound championship and Davis’ WBA world 135-pound crown. Their 12-rounder will headline Showtime’s four-fight telecast, which is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET and costs $74.99.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.