On what was the most stacked weekend of elite-level boxing since boxing returned from its Covid haitus, that featured four major cards a litany of highly entertaining scraps, and vicious knockouts. It was one punch that stole the attention of boxing hardcores and casuals alike. A single left uppercut from Gervonta “Tank” Davis of Baltimore, Maryland, proved to the critics that Davis wasn’t a mere hype job and that there was plenty of substance to go along with his style. Davis had previously received harsh criticism for missing weight, fighting less than elite-level competition, and handing in lackluster performances against that lower-level opposition. All of those criticisms were erased with Saturdays perfectly placed left uppercut that nearly took off the head of Leo Santa Cruz and ended his night in the sixth round. It was the second defense of Davis’s WBA title at lightweight, in addition, he captured Cruz’s WBA Super featherweight title as well as our Fighter of the Week award.
For the first time since he destroyed Jose Pedraza back in 2017, Tank Davis was stepping into the ring with a world-class fighter still in his prime and it did not start off well for Tank at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Santa Cruz got off to a lightning-quick start firing off combinations and outworking his younger opponent. Landing combination and cornering Davis on his way to taking the first two rounds. In the third round Davis came out more aggressive, working Santa Cruz to the body, Davis was able to back his naturally lighter opponent up and into the ropes, where he ripped up combinations evening up the fight, two rounds apiece heading into the fifth. In round five Davis continued to rip shots to his opponent’s midsection, stopping Santa Cruz from moving forward and making him uncomfortable. Santa Cruz continued landing his share of shots, but the tempo of the fight was now fully in the favor of Davis. Despite eating his fair share of shots the Baltimorean continued walking Santa Cruz down and ripping uppercuts and power shots backing his man into the ropes. Santa Cruz was able to fight back valiantly but could not stay off the ropes and with just under 30 seconds remaining in the round, Davis violently ripped off a picture-perfect left uppercut that collapsed Santa Cruz to the canvas and kept him there for several minutes. Giving Davis the sixth round KO victory to move his record to 24-0 (23)
Tank Davis has emerged as America’s biggest boxing draw at both the 130 and 135-pound divisions and depending on how the Pay-Per-View buy rate comes in at will dictate just how big a star he has become. Davis can compete at either division and will be at no shortage of high-level opponents. Young upstarts like Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, and Chris Colbert all compete in one of the divisions Davis holds a belt in. Anyone of those fights would be another massive PPV event that will be career-high paydays for each combatant. In addition to those young upstarts, Davis has had long-running feuds with former champs Tevin Farmer and Vasyl Lomachenko, even though each of those fighters are coming off a loss there would still be considerable intrigue in those fights as well.