In one of the toughest fights of his career, Gervonta Davis was able to beat Isaac Cruz via unanimous decision, in a bout that was a star-making performance for Cruz.
Inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Davis battled through an injured left hand and a game Cruz. He would win via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) to retain the WBA Lightweight Title. As far as what is next for Davis, when asked about fighting George Kambosos Jr., Devin Haney, or Ryan Garcia, Davis believes he is the one true champion.
"They’re all easy work," Davis stated. "I’m the top dog.”
Cruz came into the bout as a huge underdog after being chosen at the last minute to fight Davis. He didn't show there was any pressure, as he looked cool, calm, and collected entering the ring. When the bell rang, the confidence did not disappear. Cruz landed jabs that would push Davis back and multiple body shots to start. He would hit counter blows, but Davis would return the favor with uppercuts.
In round two, Floyd Mayweather told Cruz to box smart. The young star listened to the undefeated Mayweather, as he used the jabs and uppercuts to try and tire Cruz out early. Davis would continue to utilize power shots in the third and would spice things up with combinations. Jabs to hooks also helped Davis, and counter lefts managed to get the crowd on their feet.
Cruz would not be denied, however, and landed body shots, both uppercuts and hooks. Davis looked a little shaken up, but wouldn’t show any pain. The latter landed an uppercut and would jab away in round five. Davis hit combination shots, and that is where the issues with his arm would come into play. His power, while still there, didn’t have the same liveliness as we are accustomed to.
Throughout the rest of the fight, Davis battled back as Cruz continued to press forward. In a dramatic seventh, both exchanged jabs and uppercuts. Body shots became key here, with Cruz landing multiple within the clinch. After swinging wildly, Davis landed a right-left combo to the body. Cruz would follow suit with an uppercut.
Cruz and Davis traded combination blows in the eighth, but Cruz went ahead with uppercut shots. Davis took over in the ninth with a big left to the body and low combinations. He timed Cruz’s movements perfectly and landed uppercuts and a right hook. It was at this point that many started to notice the lack of juice in Davis’ left arm. Showing some emotion, you could see Davis was upset with himself. He continued to fight on, even with Cruz landing a flurry of body shots.
By the championship rounds, Cruz could not take advantage of the situation. He threw a career-low 37 punches in the twelfth, but he managed a few solid jabs. Davis would land uppercuts and body shots as the crowd were on their feet. As the bell rang, there was an aura in the air, like they witnessed something special.
According to CompuBox, Cruz landed 133 total shots compared to Cruz's 121. Davis landed less than ten shots in five rounds, and Cruz only landed six in the key twelfth round.
Davis retained the WBA Lightweight Title for the second time. The win ended a 16-fight streak in a bout ending via some form of knockout for him. Cruz, who replaced Rolando Romero after the latter had sexual assault allegations made against him, lost an 18-fight unbeaten streak.