BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore native Gervonta Davis is preparing for his first fight in nearly a year. He will face Leo Santa Cruz in a championship bout on October 24 with Davis’ WBA lightweight title and Santa Cruz’s WBA junior lightweight title on the line. The fight, scheduled as the main event on Showtime’s pay-per-view card that night, is an anticipated bout between two of the world’s best lightweight fighters.
The 32-year-old Santa Cruz has started to make some noise with his comments on the bout, saying in early August that even though nobody is giving him a chance, he’s going to “shock the world“. He then told ESPN Deportes that his plan is to apply pressure to Davis in the early rounds before going on to “drown” him later in the fight.
“He is strong the first four or five rounds, we must be careful that he does not catch us with any good punches,” said Santa Cruz. “And after that he gets tired, and that’s where my experience comes in. I’m going to go right to him and I’m going to drown him, putting pressure on him. This is how my fight must be.”
Davis joined the Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer this week to discuss the Santa Cruz bout. He told Custer that he knows Santa Cruz is going to attempt to overwhelm him with sheer volume of punches. But, he warns that if Santa Cruz tries to press too hard, he’ll end up like Jose Pedraza.
“He’s coming with his output, a lot of punches, he throws more than me. I’m coming and hit hard. It’s just about who wants it the most, who can dish it out and take it too,” said Davis. “He’s going to come in there and try to pressure me, and he’s going to feel the power and then it’s going to end up being an early night like (Jose) Pedraza because they tried to overpress me, thinking I’m going to get tired when I’m not. He says his experience is going to get him the win I have experience too, I’ve been fighting since I was seven years old. I know what to do when someone is pressuring me.”
In the Pedraza fight, Davis won via TKO in the seventh round after a right hook caught Pedraza clean. Davis is confident that he’s ready for Santa Cruz’s style based on that result but also the way that he’s been running his camp for this fight. He told Custer that normally his camp will last eight weeks prior to a fight, this time, he started 12 weeks out. Davis also has another big name helping out this time around, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“He’s been on me about running more, conditioning for sure. While I’m sparring, and if I don’t get it he’ll get in there and spar and show me what he’s talking about. He’s actually been a big help in this camp, to be honest he’s been hands on more than my coach at this point,” said Davis of Mayweather Jr.’s influence. “He’s been watching Leo (Santa Cruz) and telling me what he likes to do. He’s been a big help for this camp.”
While Davis is going to be back in the ring in October, there are still concerns about life outside the ring. Davis was charged with domestic battery earlier this year following an incident in Coral Gables in which he was seen on video grabbing his former girlfriend by the neck and pulling her out of her seat. When asked about the incident and whether he had to see someone professionally afterwards, Davis told Custer that he did.
“I had to talk to somebody professionally to know how to deal with stuff in the future,” said Davis. “Because you don’t agree with something, react on it or deal with it a different kind of way besides going out there and touching somebody physically. Just go out there and talk to them, so yes I did talk to someone professionally about that situation.”
As of this writing, the case in Coral Gables remains unresolved. Davis fights Santa Cruz October 24 on Showtime pay-per-view.