Until both Keyshawn Davis and Andy Cruz hang up their gloves for good, the two will be innately linked forever.
In the amateurs, Cruz and Davis met a total of four times. No matter how hard he tried, Davis was unable to put together the sort of game plan that would lead him to victory. Although they all stung, the 2020 Olympics were particularly painful.
Just one win away from taking home gold, Davis met up with Cruz once again. Things may have been close but it was Cruz who did just enough to eke out the victory. Since then, Davis has put his shortcomings behind him. Nine pro wins have placated his amateur heartbreak. But while the 24-year-old is continuing to build his resume, he’s keeping a close eye on Cruz.
Essentially, the recently defected Cuban found his pro fight as easy as his amateur run, winning a lopsided decision against Juan Carlos Burgos. Davis, currently signed with Top Rank, and Cruz - affiliated with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, will have to jump through hoops in order to line up against one another in the pros.
Regardless of the promotional hurdles that stand in their way, Davis believes that a matchup against his longtime rival is inevitable.
“I think we going to fight,” said Davis to iFL TV. “I want to fight him sooner rather than later.”
There’s an obvious storyline between them but one that Davis is on the humiliating end of. The natural progression of a young fighter is all too familiar. They'll march into the ring against a few fighters with awful records, slowly step up the level of competition, and eventually - before heading to that championship level - face off against a few former titleholders and hotshot prospects.
Before Davis eventually knocks off a couple of undefeated hopefuls, he’s eyeing a showdown against Cruz. The chapter they share with one another might be one-sided but facing Cruz in the pros could give Davis the chance to get the last laugh and finally move on.
“If it was up to me, I would want to fight him first before any other top prospect. Just to close that chapter.”