The Staples Center was packed as many of the fans in attendance came to see one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, wondering if he could register another knockout vicory to add to his streak. What they witnessed was a fight with a mixture of skill, toughness, and adversity that may not have been expected but showed how good each fighter is.
Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz went through twelve rounds of action, and Davis came out with the victory by unanimous decision to stay unbeaten in his pro career. Zachary Young scored the bout 116-112 in favor of Davis while Max DeLuca and Carla Caiz scored it 115-113. Cruz suffers the second loss in his career and his unbeaten streak comes to an end at 18 fights.
Cruz started off well as he came right at Davis with right hooks to the head and to the body, backing Davis up and putting him in a position that may have surprised some that were watching it live. After seeing the initial gameplan by Cruz, Davis remained calm and fought off his back foot to catch Cruz with counter left hands. Davis also moved around the ring well, used the jab and moved out of the way when Cruz attempted to catch him with a right hook as a response. The reach advantage for Davis also gave him the opportunity to throw the left uppercut from a distance. However, Cruz was game and got through the first parts of the fight without getting seriously hurt.
By the fifth round, we saw more combinations coming from Davis as he was throwing three and four punches in a row before Cruz could throw a punch of his own. It was more of the same for the next two rounds as Davis showed his ability to mix up his offense, but Cruz showed his toughness by sticking with his game plan. It was more successful in the later rounds as Cruz landed a few big shots on Tank to make the fight close. In the last part of the fight, it was evident that Tank Davis had issues with his left hand but used the right jab and hook to score while getting away from the attack of Cruz before the final bell sounded.
When the scorecards were announced by Jimmy Lennon Jr., there was a look of satisfaction in the corner of Tank Davis and a sigh of disappointment from Isaac Cruz’s corner. They felt like the constant pressure of Cruz was enough to win the fight.
“I have nothing much to say (about the result), the fans are speaking on who won this fight,” Cruz said. “I think we retained rhythm from the start to the end.”
Tank did acknowledge that his left hand was hurt during the fight, and that affected his performance.
“I hurt my left hand probably in the sixth round, but I got through it,” he said after the fight. ““He’s a shorter fighter, so I was throwing down on the top of his head. I hit him with my knuckle and messed it up.”
He did give credit to the contender from Mexico City, as it was the first time since 2014 that a Tank Davis fight didn’t end by knockout.
“He’s a warrior. Even though he didn’t get the win, a star was born tonight.”
While the stock on Isaac Cruz may be rising after his effort against Tank Davis, it is Tank that emerged victorious and the question is what may be next for the Baltimore native. The lightweight division has been the hot topic over the past couple of weeks, with George Kambosos defeating Teofimo Lopez to become unified champion and Devin Haney beating JoJo Diaz to defend his world title. When the names of Kambosos, Haney and Ryan Garcia were mentioned to Davis, he had a clear message for them.
“All them guys are easy work. Easy work. I’m the top dog.”
Cover photo by Ryan Hafey of Premier Boxing Champions