Davis vs. Cruz: Irresistible Force vs. Immovable Object

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An all-our war is expected when undefeated boxing superstar Gervonta "Tank" Davis and hard-hitting Isaac "Pittbull" Cruz throw down for Davis' world lightweight title Sunday night on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.

Tonight, December 5, live on SHOWTIME PPV (8 p.m. ET/5 P.M.) from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, the always-explosive, five-division world champ Gervonta “Tank” Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) defends his WBA Lightweight World Title against all-action Mexican warrior Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) atop a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The pay-per-view features rising super welterweight star Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora against fellow unbeaten contender Sergio Garcia in a co-main event WBC Super Welterweight World Title Eliminator. Also on the card, middleweight battlers Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Carlos Adames square off in a 10-round clash. To open up the show, top featherweight contender Eduardo Ramirez faces former world title challenger Miguel Marriaga.

The Story

Gervonta Davis, headlining his third straight pay-per-view, continues to make his mark as one of the hottest attractions in boxing.

Coming up through the foster care system as a child in his hometown of Baltimore, Davis has fought his way into the upper echelon of the sport.

In his last three fights, he has secured main stage prominence to go along with his prodigious drawing power, jumping divisions to beat Yuriorkis Gamboa for a lightweight title, Leo Santa Cruz for a super featherweight title, and, most recently, Mario Barrios for a 140-pound strap. 

The 27-year-old “Tank,” who is mentored and promoted by Floyd Mayweather, is riding a 16-fight knockout streak coming into this bout. 

The rise to the top for 23-year-old Isaac Cruz was unexpected, but every bit as well-earned as Davis’.

The Mexico City native began boxing at seven years of age under the guidance of his grandfather and father, who were both professional fighters. After an outstanding amateur career, he turned pro at 16 and pushed forward into becoming the no-frills, no-nonsense fighter he is today.

Cruz’s last three bouts have featured breakthrough performances. In October 2020, he scored a brutal 53-second stoppage of two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno. In March, he beat the undefeated Jose Matias Romero, going twelve rounds for the first time in his career. In his last bout, he dominated former world champ Francisco Vargas en route to a unanimous decision victory.

The Stakes

At stake is Davis’ WBA lightweight world title. For Davis, though, the aim is to continue building a superstar legacy. For Cruz, a win means an instant ticket to elite-level recognition and everything that comes with it.

The Matchup

The raw physical tools of Gervonta Davis are almost otherworldly. He’s fast, has outstanding reflexes, and is exceedingly heavy-handed. All combined into one dynamite package, he is, perhaps, the most all-around explosive fighter in the sport today. 

The undefeated southpaw augments his physical tools with a continually maturing boxing mind and a great sense for using angles and complex ring strategies.

Defensively, Davis uses his quick reflexes and speed to slip punches and avoid shots. The promise of a jarring counter also keeps opposition tentative.

On the other side of the ring, Isaac Cruz is all Mexican warrior, all the time.

The “Pitbull” is a short, compact pressure fighter who likes coming forward and does his best work inside with thudding body shots. Free swinging to the point of being wild, there’s nothing at all subtle about Cruz’s style or in-ring strategy. He walks opponents down and aims to hurt them.

Training in high-altitude Mexico City and blessed with a blue collar work ethic, his stellar conditioning serves as a motor to his pressure style.

Cruz doesn’t have much on defense other than an offense-is-the-best-defense mindset, a sturdy chin, and low body positioning that occasionally works itself into a bob-and-weave.

This is going to be one of the best fights of the year. Undefeated Three-Division World Champion - Gervonta "Tank" Davis

The Words

Gervonta Davis

“Cruz has impressed me. He comes in there to win. He doesn’t look to just hang in there. He wants to go in and take it. He’s not an opponent I can overlook. December 5 is going to be a fireworks show. This is going to be one of the best fights of the year. It’s not just a boxing match, it’s an event."

Isaac Cruz

“I’m ready to shock the world and become the next star in the pantheon of Mexican boxing champions. Gervonta has not fought anyone with my style and with my characteristics. Once he feels my power, the fight is going to turn toward me. It’s up to Gervonta to show that he’s a superstar in the ring. I don’t see him as an impossible task to defeat at all.”

The Breakdown

Whether this fight is a brutally brilliant early knockout or a classic war of attrition will boil down to one thing—the chin of Isaac Cruz.

If Cruz can take Davis’ power and keep applying pressure, questions will be asked of Davis that have never been asked before. That, of course, is a big “if.”

The Mexican has never been dropped as a professional and, up until now, has yet to be truly rocked in the ring. But what Davis brings is well beyond anything “The Pitbull” has ever seen before.

The theory on how to beat Davis has always centered on pushing him backwards where some of his power is offset and he’s forced to fight from behind. However, that remains just a theory as no opponent to date has been able to do that with sustained success. Cruz has the right style, although it remains to be seen if he has the ability to put everything together against someone on Davis’ level. 

The tough and tenacious Cruz won’t stop trying, though, and that should make this a guaranteed exciting battle whether it lasts one round or the full twelve. Being the smaller fighter at 5-foot-4, able to work underneath Davis’ big shots, may work to his benefit. His single-minded focus and bullish confidence might also work to his benefit.

Gervonta Davis, meanwhile, is Gervonta Davis—a generational talent just reaching his prime as a fighter. Every one of his outings is a show and every victory adds to his growing legacy. 

This Sunday’s pay-per-view main event will be either a virtuoso destruction of a fearless warrior or an all-out war. Whatever happens, though, it’ll be explosive.

For a closer look at Davis vs Cruz, check out our fight night page. 

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