June 14, 2021

Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz Open To Staying At 130, Moving Up To 135

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Gervonta Davis believes he can continue competing within the 130-pound division following his upcoming fight against Leo Santa Cruz.

Baltimore’s Davis moved back down to the junior lightweight limit to meet Santa Cruz after succeeding in his 135-pound debut in his most recent fight. The strong southpaw also is open to jumping back up the lightweight limit after facing Santa Cruz in their 12-round, 130-pound championship match October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio.

Davis replied “both” when Showtime’s Brian Custer asked during a virtual press conference recently which division he prefers.

“I believe 130, if we’ve got the best, top dog at 130, I can stay at 130,” Davis said. “If it’s the right business move to move to ‘35, then I’ll definitely move to ’35. But right now, we’re focused on Leo and becoming that pay-per-view star.”

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Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) and Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) are scheduled to fight for Santa Cruz’s WBA “super” 130-pound championship, as well as Davis’ WBA world 135-pound crown. Though there is a lightweight title at stake in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event, Davis and Santa Cruz are contractually committed to weighing in as junior lightweights.

The 25-year-old Davis has had well-documented difficulties making the 130-pound maximum for the junior lightweight division. He has won two world titles in that weight class, though, and has boxed near or at that weight throughout his seven-year pro career.

Davis won the WBA’s secondary lightweight title in his last fight, a 12th-round, technical-knockout victory over Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) on December 28 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The WBA recognizes Ukraine’s Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) as its “super” champion within the lightweight division.

The 32-year-old Santa Cruz has fought at the 130-pound limit just once. The Rosemead, California, resident soundly defeated Houston’s Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in that bout, a 12-rounder last November 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Santa Cruz also is open to moving up to the lightweight division if he defeats Davis, though he acknowledged a preference to remain at 130.

“If I win, I wanna stay at 130, defend the title, unify,” Santa Cruz said. “And if there’s another opportunity at 135, and it makes sense, I’ll move up to 135.” 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.