World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight champion, Gervonta Davis and WBA super featherweight titlist, Leo Santa Cruz are billed to slug it out for a unification bout on October 24 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Showtime announced last Wednesday morning that they will meet in a pay-per-view main event. The rest of the Davis-Santa Cruz card was not announced, but Showtime released its full slate of eight events, all of which will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena from August 1 to December 12.
Fans will not be permitted at any of those shows due to COVID-19 restrictions. Nevertheless, Davis’ debut as the ‘A’ side of a pay-per-view event will further test the popularity he has established by consistently attracting large crowds to various venues throughout the United States since February 2019.
Leonard Ellerbe – CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Davis’ promoter – confirmed to BoxingScene.com and other outlets in May that Davis and Santa Cruz had agreed to terms for their fight. The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger first reported Tuesday night that their fight was set for October 24.
BoxingScene.com has been informed since Showtime’s initial announcement that the site of the Davis-Santa Cruz card could change to a West Coast venue if coronavirus restrictions are loosened elsewhere. The event remains three months away.
Wherever it happens, Baltimore’s Davis (23-0, 22 KOs), who has had numerous issues making weight, will move back down from 135 pounds to the junior lightweight limit of 130 to face Santa Cruz. The 31-year-old Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs), of Rosemead, California, commendably demanded that adviser Al Haymon make the daunting Davis fight for him next.
Santa Cruz, who has been criticized for his level of opposition in recent years, has competed at the 130-pound limit only once. The former featherweight, junior featherweight and bantamweight champion out-pointed Houston’s Miguel Flores (24-3, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in that 12-rounder November 30 in Las Vegas to win the WBA “super” 130-pound crown Davis vacated to move up to lightweight late last year.
The 25-year-old Davis is a considerable favorite to beat Santa Cruz, but there will be undeniable drama surrounding their weigh-in.
Even though he moved up from 130 pounds to 135, Davis’ notorious troubles making weight continued the day prior to his last fight December 28 in Atlanta. Davis came in 1¼ pounds over the lightweight limit on his first trip to the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission’s scale. He eventually officially weighed 134½ pounds for his lightweight debut, a WBA world lightweight title fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa.
The strong southpaw stopped Cuba’s Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) in the 12th round at State Farm Arena. Davis dropped Gamboa once apiece in the second, eighth and 12th rounds before referee Jack Reiss stopped their fight.
Davis previously was stripped of his IBF junior lightweight title in August 2017 because he was two pounds too heavy for his 130-pound title defense against Nicaragua’s Francisco Fonseca. Davis knocked out Fonseca in the eighth round on the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor undercard at T-Mobile Arena, only to leave Las Vegas as an ex-champion.