Leo Santa Cruz is embracing the underdog mentality ahead of his junior lightweight fight against Gervonta Davis on Oct. 24 on Showtime pay per view.
Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will be fighting for just the second time at 130, while Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) will be dropping back down from 135 after making his division debut as a lightweight in December.
Santa Cruz knows he needs to escape Davis’ devastating power in order to have a chance in pulling off the upset.
“Tank is young, he has the experience and great power and everything, but I have the experience, and I’m older,” Santa Cruz told Fight Hype. “I can get him. I have to be smart and fight a brilliant fight and not get caught with those shots, and I can beat him.”
The four-division champion (118, 122, 126, 130) Santa Cruz has been preparing for Davis’ strength by sparring with welterweights. He’s unbothered that the Baltimore-bred boxer is training under the auspices of his promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The fighter of the decade has had a newfound love for training in recent months following the death of his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather.
“Mayweather is a great fighter, and I know he has a lot to teach him. So if Tank doesn’t do it, then he’ll work for nothing,” said Santa Cruz. “He’s still going to come and fight the same way as he always does.”
In addition to holding power and having the best fighter of his era in his ear, the 25-year-old Davis also has youth on his side. By the time the Los Angeles-based Santa Cruz steps into the ring, he’ll be 32.
“If one thing doesn’t work, we’re going to work with another. We’re going to adjust up there, and hopefully, we give a great fight for the fans,” said Santa Cruz. “That’s what we want, and we’re going to provide a fantastic night for the fans, and that’s it … Fighting without fans is going to be a little bit different, but we’ve got to do it.”
The fight will take place without fans in attendance at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.