WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) had the toughest fight of his career in winning a 12 round unanimous decision over the highly motivated Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Tank won by the scores:
Davis, 27, struggled with the inside game and body punching from the younger, shorter Pitbull Cruz the entire fight.
To slow Cruz down, Gervonta resorted to holding a lot, and extending his lead arm far out in front of him to keep the challenger ffrom getting close.
In the tenth round, Pitbull Cruz appeared to hurt Tank with a big hook and he was forced to box after that.
Pitbull Cruz smelled blood in the 11th and 12th, taking control of the fight with his pressure against a one-armed Tank, who unable to do much other than move, and use illegal straight arms.
All in all, it was a terribly poor performance from Tank Davis, worse than WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney’s effort last Saturday night against Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr.
A rematch would be the noble thing for Tank Davis to do because this outcome was too controversial for him to move on.
The lanky 6’5 1/2″ Sebastian ‘Towering Inferno’ Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KOs) beat Sergio Garcia (33-1, 14 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a WBC 154-lb title eliminator.
The fight looked closer to being a draw rather than a win for Fundora because he was getting lit up like a Christmas tree by Garcia, and outworked.
Fundora’s punch output was anemic, perhaps because he’s so used to his opponents falling apart early in his fights. He hasn’t had to build up his stamina like normal fighters.
The judges’ scores:
In a controversial outcome, Carlos Adames (21-1, 16 KOs) beat Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-4, 10 KOs) by a highly questionable 10 round majority decision in s WBC middleweight title eliminator.
Adames did a lot of holding in the second half of the fight after gassing out, and repeatedly getting stunned by Derevyanchenko. You can argue that the referee should have docked points from Adames for the excessive holding he was doing.
The scores were:
- 97-93 – wow!
Boxing 247 had it for Derevyanchenko 97-93. He was the more active guy, and landed the better shots down the stretch. Adames looked exhausted in the entire second half of the contest
Adames, 27, looked like the better fighter through the first four rounds, but Derevyanchenko took over the fight in the second half and had him hurt over and over. The loss for Derevyanchenko was his third in a row, and he’s got to start thinking about whether it’s worth it to continue his career.
To be fair, three of Derevyanchenko’s losses were very questionable in defeats against Gennadiy Golovkin, Danny Jacobs, and tonight’s loss to Adames.
The only fight that this writer can say that Derevyanchenko clearly lost was against Jermall Charlo last year in September.
Still, if the judges aren’t going to give Derevyanchenko wins in fights that go to the cards, it’s not worth it for him to carry on unless he’s getting well paid for these matches.
Had the judges given the win to Derevyanchenko, he would be mandatory for WBC middleweight champion Jermall.
Highly ranked #2 WBC featherweight Eduardo Ramirez (26-2-3, 12 KOs) ground out a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision over Colombian knockout artist Miguel Marriaga (30-5, 26 KOs) in the televised portion of Showtime’s PPV card.
Eduardo dropped Marriaga with a left to the head in the third. In the fourth and fifth rounds, Ramirez landed a lot of heavyweights on the chin of Marriaga but he took them well.
Ramirez threw nonstop punches through the contest, making it impossible for the 35-year-old Marriaga to match his huge output.
Although Marriaga landed some hard punches that would have stopped many fighters, Ramirez took them without showing signs of being hurt.
The shots that Marriaga was hitting Ramirez with were devastatingly powerful, but they had no effect on the Mexican warrior.
Heavyweight Carlos Garcon (2-0-1, 2 KOs) battled Jason Soto (3-1-2, 3KO) to a four round draw. The scores were 39-37 Soto, 39-37 Garcon, and 38-38.
In a massive upset, obscure journeyman Vaughn Alexander (16-6-1, 9 KOs) came in and defeated former middleweight Luis Arias (20-2-1, 9 KOs) by a 10 round split decision.
A sluggish 31-year-old Arias lost his cool, shouldering Alexander in trying to rough him up, which ultimately led to him losing a point in round five. The scores were 96-93, 96-93 for Alexander and 96-93 for Arias.
In Arias’ last fight, he defeated former 154-lb world champion Jarrett Hurd by a 10 round split decision last summer on June 6th.
Ava Knight UD 6 Nancy Franco De Alba
Mia Ellis UD 4 Elizabeth Tuani
“When you’ve got a guy that has the opportunity of a lifetime and wasn’t expecting anything like this and it just falls in his lap, that’s a dangerous thing,” said Showtime president of Sports Stephen Espinoza to Fight Hub TV on Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz being brought in as the B-side opponent for superstar Tank Davis.
“The other dangerous thing about this is Tank. He was preparing for Rolly Romero, who is a much different type of fighter and a much taller fighter among other things.
“So all of a sudden five weeks out, you’re preparing for a completely different style and a completely different type of opponent. There’s danger there too. Tank has gotten to the point where he’s a star, people come out and pay money for him.
“You kind of assume he’s going to walk through anybody. That’s not the case here, you can’t make that assumption. This is a fight,” Espinoza said of the Tank Davis vs. Isaac Cruz contest tonight.
“Just because of the style match-up, we always imagined this being a match-up at some point,” said Espinoza of Davis – Cruz. “And it wasn’t a coincidence in this particular card. With COVID, we’ve put a couple of similar fights on the card because you never know with positive tests, you need a replacement.
“Here, Isaac was scheduled to be fighting on the card, and we had in the back of our minds that if something strange happens, he can step up and that’s exactly what happened. He got the call and he stepped up.
Pitbull Cruz to show good he is
“What we’ve seen and we’ve learned about him [Isaac Cruz] is he’s a third-generation professional boxer. That is valuable. That kind of experience growing up in the sport and having that level of expertise in your corner.
“You’ve got a dad that has fought world champions, and you’ve got a grandfather that has fought world champions. This is literally a guy [Pitbull Cruz] that has been raised in the sport of boxing, and that’s another thing that makes him dangerous.
“This is a guy [Isaac Cruz] we don’t know how good he is, but we’re going to find out,” said Espinoza.
“This fight here is the part of the building of Tank’s fanbase. We’ve got a Homebase in Atlanta, and we’ve got a home base in Baltimore. He’s fought in DC, so now we want to give him a little bit more exposure on the West Coast.
“So, we want it to be in LA. The Staples Center is a tough venue to get into. The Lakers, Clippers, Kings, and a big high school basketball game tonight with Lebron’s son. It’s impossible to get into. Sunday, December 5th happened to be the one day that they had open before Christmas.
“We feel strongly enough and people are enthusiastic enough and passionate enough about Tank that they’ll follow him, whether it’s Saturday night, Sunday night, or Monday night. They’ll find him, so we’re very comfortable about that.
“We may find out that this is something we do by choice a little more often. The reality is, the only one that can stop Tank is Tank at this point. He’s had some mistakes, we’ve all made mistakes, especially in our early 20s.
“I think he’s learned from that. Certainly, nobody is perfect, but he’s at a much different point. I saw a significant change in this camp.
“I saw his weight throughout camp, he was on weight. That hasn’t always been the case. Sometimes he’s struggled with his weight fluctuating between fights. That wasn’t the case here. He was 140, 145 four weeks out.
“It’s a different level of discipline. Having a baby girl has also reinforced that and I think he understands where he fits in right now. We’re facing a year with a really heavy schedule starting with Canelo.
“Going with Benavidez a week after that and we got a great fight last week with Fulton – Figueroa and this fight and Donaire, ending with Jake Paul. That’s a great run, and everybody raises their game.
“No one wants to be the letdown. You had the Canelo fight, which was an amazing event that was up here. Then we went to Phoenix and had a great crowd for an entertaining doubleheader. There’s a lot of pressure. These guys are competitive,” said Espinoza.
Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) is having his Rocky moment tonight when he comes in as a replacement to take on the superstar Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis for his WBA lightweight title on Showtime PPV at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This is a Premier Boxing Champions event.
No one knows how good Cruz is right now, but this is his moment to shine and change his and the life of his family by pulling off an upset against the unbeaten Tank Davis (25-0, 24 KOs).