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Gervonta Davis vs. Isaac Cruz: Match prediction, cards, odds, expert pick, start time, preview, PPV showtime

In boxing, it’s rare to see an alternate competitor added to the main event of a pay-per-view card that actually makes the fight more engaging and (potentially) competitive.

It’s the biggest story yet of the return of multi-division champion Gervonta “The Tank” Davis on Sunday as the rising star defended his WBA lightweight title at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Davis (25-0.24 KOs) will return 135 pounds when he takes on tough Isaac Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs) in what is expected to be nothing short of a match. penalty shootout at close range. Cruz, a 23-year-old nicknamed “Pitbull”, was a late replacement for Rolando “Rolly” Romero after the undefeated driver was dropped from the bout amid multiple sexual assault allegations.

As for Cruz’s crude crouching style that can sometimes be seen with the naked eye, the Mexican-born is very effective at blocking opponents and executing many powerful short shots from many angles.

Can’t get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Sign up for Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including a full preview of Davis vs. Cruz on Sunday night below.

“I have a lot of confidence in any punch that I throw,” Cruz said in Thursday’s final press conference. “Like the Mexican saying, ‘whatever way it goes, it will go.’ But I’m very comfortable with my own skin and style. I believe in what I can do on a Sunday night.”

Cruz, who is unbeaten in his last 18 games since his only defeat, an eight-round decisive loss to top laner Luis Miguel Montano in 2016, has no problem offering a pair. guarantee of what Sunday’s game might be like.

“I guarantee a great fight, I guarantee excitement,” Cruz said. “It’s simple. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. [Davis] never faced anyone who fought like me before. My hunger and will to win is unmatched. He’ll feel it on Sunday night. ”

While Davis respects Cruz’s background, he simply doesn’t believe it’s on the same level as the boxers. Davis has won titles in three different weight classes in his last three fights, and they all ended in knockouts.

In 2020, Davis moved down from lightweight to take on his world number one rival, multi-category champion Leo Santa Cruz, with their PPV main event in the 130-pound class ending in bold fashion. force as Davis made it through to the knockout round of the year with a cut sixth set. Eight months later, Davis made his 140-pound debut and stopped the previously undefeated Mario Barrios in a June horror movie.

“He can say whatever he wants right now, but it’s different when you get hit in the face,” Davis said. “He said I’ve never faced someone like him but he’s also never faced anyone like me. He can say what he wants to build the fight. Change. Opponents are just a part of boxing. I had to adapt to it like I would adapt to what Cruz brings in teamfights.”

Upgrading doesn’t necessarily change the odds as Davis, who is the last to begin to gain global recognition, is on the –1100 high favorites list. But there’s no doubt that Cruz offers a far more dangerous challenge than the wildly raw Romero.

“Gervonta is a very strong fighter. I consider him the best in the tournament, but he’s human and not unbeatable,” Cruz said. “My goal is to bring him down and show who I am.

“We weren’t afraid of his speed. We worked hard to be able to counter his pace. He had a strong top laner, he threw a lot of punches but we were prepared. no matter what the previous boxers did to him, we are prepared to fight anything he might throw our way.”

Davis added a second set of eyes in training camp to prepare Cruz as well-respected Barry Hunter has joined his team alongside head coach Calvin Ford. Both coaches expressed the need on Thursday for Cruz’s aggression and rough style, with Davis adding that he knew well how hungry Cruz would be because he had nothing left to lose.

“I think it’s harder to fight those who are shorter than those who are taller than you,” Davis said. “You have to punch down and find him. But I’m getting to my top fight, so we’ll see how it goes.

“I was as weak as Cruz before. I know that he is fully preparing and getting strong. I remember when my back was against the wall. Now it is-or-die and he comes to me. it, not just for himself, but for his family.”

Battle cards, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Gervonta Davis -1100 vs. Isaac Cruz +700, “regular” WBA lightweight title
  • Sebastian Fundora -270 vs Sergio Garcia +220, super heavyweight
  • Sergiy Derevyanchenko -400 vs Carlos Adames +310, middleweight
  • Luis Arias vs. Vaughn Alexander, super weight

Guess

The more Cruz can get inside, squeeze Davis, and make this fight as rough as possible, the greater his chances of enticing his discomfort. The fact that Davis can often save when a counter puncher can open the door for the great Cruz to overtake him on the scorecards.

That sounds like a great plan on paper. The problem, of course, was Davis’ punching power. The Baltimore native knocked out 96% of his opponents, with only German cruiser Ivan Meraz outpacing him in a six-round bout in 2014.

Cruz will need to show a next-level chin to close the gap on Davis’ approach advantage. Cruz often crouched low in his path, similar to his younger Mike Tyson, making it easy for him to take Davis’s deadliest finishing blow – the upper left one.

Best-case scenario is that Cruz gets an early penalty so he can tax Davis’ gas tank late after slowing him down with shots to the body. It’s a strategy that may have worked against Davis from four years ago, who often fell victim to his growing celebrity excesses, including his loss of the 130-pound title. on the scale in 2017.

Davis, who thinks giving up alcohol will help him achieve higher levels of focus and fitness, but it’s too late to be the victim. Though Davis still has plenty of legal issues outside of the ring, he has become a student of the game within it and no longer interrupts in his preparation.

Hopefully Cruz will make this fight enjoyable as long as it lasts, using his belligerence to bring out the best in Davis. That, in the end, would also lead to his death because the best Davis himself is as fearsome a boxer as anyone in the sport today.

Pick: Davis via KO9

https://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/gervonta-davis-vs-isaac-cruz-fight-prediction-card-odds-expert-picks-start-time-preview-showtime-ppv/ Gervonta Davis vs. Isaac Cruz: Match prediction, cards, odds, expert pick, start time, preview, PPV showtime

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