In approximately 10 days time, Mayweather Promotions’ biggest star and rising attraction, Gervonta ‘Tank” Davis of Baltimore, Maryland will make his much-anticipated return to the ring for his greatest challenge to date in one of the most anticipated fights of the fall.
Davis will be taking on four division champion Leo “El Famoso Terremoto” Santa Cruz in a 12-round fight live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas exclusively on Showtime PPV.
On the line will be two titles (one of which is a secondary title) Davis’ WBA “Regular” Lightweight strap and Santa Cruz’s WBA Super Featherweight title.
The fight was originally scheduled for October 24 in the PBC “bubble” at the Mohegan Sun Casino resort in Uncasville, Connecticut but was moved to Halloween night at the Alamodome to accommodate the return of live audiences (the first of its kind since major professional boxing resumed earlier this summer).
Here are three keys to victory for Gervonta Davis.
1. Land the Uppercut
Against Leo Santa Cruz the uppercut could become an extremely effective weapon for Gervonta Davis to end exchanges with Santa Cruz on a power punch. Santa Cruz often bulrushes opponents with swarming combinations leaving him susceptible to the uppercut straight down the middle from Davis.
Davis has shown dynamic use of the uppercut in the past pairing it with angle changes to stop opponents if he can find the range and timing to sneak this blow in after a few rounds this punch could make the difference for ‘Tank “to land a huge shot that Santa Cruz will not see coming.
2. Utilize Size and Power Advantages To Push Leo Santa Cruz Back
Leo Santa Cruz is a whirlwind pressure fighter who swarms his opponents with volume and combination punching. Styles like this are effective coming forward and force the opponent to fight when they do not want often taking more punishment than they otherwise would at mid or long range. While effective this means that most pressure fighters are ineffective on the back foot or moving since they cannot set their feet to unload .
To come out on top Davis must make Santa Cruz feel his power and push him back onto the ropes where he can unload with combinations. Davis should look to take the fight to Santa Cruz and prevent him from building any forward momentum, he cannot give ground.
In his lone loss Santa Cruz was outslugged by the smaller Carl Frampton in their FOY candidate first fight but the reason the Irishman found some success was not brute force but precision Frampton landed the sharper more effective punches during exchanges and Davis should look to do the same.
Davis is the naturally bigger of the two in size and punching power he must use this to his advantage and make the fight physical by leaning to end clinches then investing in hooks and uppercuts to the midsection while up close to slow down Santa Cruz. This will pay off in slowing Santa Cruz down in the second half of the fight.
3. Counter With Power Shots and Precision
Another effective tool for dealing with come forward pressure fighters is to catch them coming in while trying to land a combination. Leo Santa Cruz is neither the most nimble of foot or defense oriented, this means if Gervonta Davis can find the timing and punch with Santa Cruz his head will most likely still be on the center line, wide open for a big right hook or left hand over the top.
Davis must waste no punches and avoid loading up on his shots so he will not tire in the second half of the fight. Landing hard counter shots will keep Santa Cruz honest about unloading with combinations taking away his greatest asset and allows Davis to establish the pace and focus on his own game plan.