Gervonta “Tank” Davis put his boxing skills on display, winning a rousing 12-round round unanimous decision over the relentless Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz.
Scorecards read 116-112 and two scores of 115-113, all for Davis.
The 27-year-old Baltimore native turned on the power in the fourth, alternating between the right hook and left cross behind his southpaw stance. More punishing blows came from Davis during the fifth.
“He’s a shorter fighter, so I was throwing down on the top of his head,” said Davis. “I hit him with my knuckle and messed it up. I hurt my hand in the sixth round. No matter if the opponent is taller or shorter, I’ve got to get through it. He’s a warrior. Even though he didn’t win, a star was born tonight.”
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Davis boxed beautifully in the middle rounds, firing quick shots and pivoting away from the return fire. A right hook in the eighth briefly buzzed Cruz and brought the audience to their feet. But just when it appeared as if the fight was slipping away, Cruz fought fire with fire, landing a flush uppercut seconds before the bell.
The 23-year-old Mexican picked up the pace in the latter rounds, keeping Davis on his toes and pounding away. Davis held his own, fighting back on even terms until the fight’s end.
Following a successful title defense, Davis said he’s ready for all comers.
“L.A., we did it for Kobe [Bryant],” said Davis. “At the beginning of the fight, he came on strong. I felt as the fight was going, he was breaking down. But I hurt my hand, so I wasn’t able to get him out of there. Whatever the best opportunity is for me, I’ll do it. All of them guys are easy work. I’m the top dog.”