Gervonta Davis Remains Undefeated With Thrilling Unanimous
Decision Over Isaac Cruz
Photos: Esther Lin - SHOWTIME
Boxing superstar and five-time world champion Gervonta
“Tank” Davis put his boxing skills on display, winning a
rousing 12-round round unanimous decision over the
relentless Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz to retain his WBA
Lightweight World Title in front of a star-studded,
sellout crowd of 15,850 at STAPLES Center live on
SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View, in an event presented by Premier
Scorecards read 116-112 and two scores of 115-113, all
The atmosphere in the arena was electric, with scores of
current and former NBA stars in attendance, including
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kawhi Leonard, Dwight Howard,
Kenny Smith, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce among others.
Accompanied by superstar rapper Lil Durk, Davis entered
the ring in Laker purple and gold; tassels along his
trunks with the late Kobe Bryant’s number “8” and “24”
on each side. Cruz celebrated his Mexican heritage with
a mariachi band behind him as he strode toward the ring.
There was no feeling-out process in the first. Cruz
charged at the defending champion, pinning him against
the ropes and wailing away.
“That’s my style. ‘Pitbull’ is always going to be on the
attack,” said Cruz. “I think we retained rhythm from the
start to the end.”
Davis found his rhythm in the second and third, circling
the ring and walking Cruz into shots. In the fourth,
Cruz concentrated his attack on the body, pounding
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.”
“It was right around the fifth round I saw that his hand
wasn’t working correctly,” Cruz observed.
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.
Naturally, Cruz believed he deserved the victory.
“Viva Mexico. I have nothing to say, the fans are
speaking on who won this fight,” he said.
Following a successful title defense, Davis said he’s
ready for all comers.
“L.A., we did it for Kobe,” 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.”
In the co-main event, Sebastian “Towering Inferno”
Fundora moved closer to a world title shot with a
12-round unanimous decision over the previously-unbeaten
Sergio Garcia in a WBC Super Welterweight Title
Final scores read 118-110, 117-111 and 115-113.
Fundora established control quickly in the first,
snapping Spain’s Garcia’s head back with a booming left.
The two traded evenly through the early rounds. Garcia
had his moments, including a sharp overhand right in the
fifth that drew blood from Fundora’s nose.
The 23-year-old Fundora found his range in the sixth,
pumping the jab and using his 6-foot-5 frame and 80-inch
reach to keep Garcia at bay.
“I was using my distance a lot more. I wanted to display
something different than what I’m used to,” said Fundora.
“Height was definitely a difference in this fight.”
Garcia struggled to land during the second half of the
bout, save for a couple moments in the 12th when the two
combatants stood toe-to-toe.
“Maybe things could have been different if I had been
more aggressive from the beginning,” said Garcia. “I
shouldn’t have let myself get carried away by what he
Fundora believes he’s ready for a world title shot.
“We just beat the No. 2 in the WBC, so we have No.1, and
we have the champion,” said Fundora. “Whoever they give
us next, we’re ready for.”
In a thrilling back and forth, Carlos Adames (21-1, 16
KOs) overcame a stiff challenge from former world title
challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-4, 10 KOs) to win a
10-round majority decision in their WBC Middleweight
World Title Eliminator.
Both combatants had their moments, but facing the
toughest opponent of his career, the 27-year-old Adames
shined. One judge scored the middleweight bout even at
95-95, while the other two scored it for Adames by
scores of 96-94 and 97-93.
“This means a lot for me in my career and this is a big
accomplishment winning against a fighter of his
caliber,” said Adames, who was born in the Dominican
Republic and fights out of Washington Heights in New
"I am aggressive and speedy by nature, so I came in
ready to do my thing. He started slow, wanting to see
what would happen, and simply had the wrong game plan.
He got a bit tired as the fight went on, took a lot of
hard shots from me and it was evident that I caused him
a lot of damage.”
“I expect my opponent to fight the same style. It was
nothing special for me, just a quality fight,” said
“He stayed southpaw, that was the difference in the
fight. I don’t know what I’ll do next. I need a little
bit of rest and then I will go back to the gym because I
love boxing and I love the show.”
"This gives me an opportunity to move on,” said Adames.
“I dominate at both 154 and 160, so wherever they give
me the opportunity to fight for a championship is where
In the opening bout of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast, super
featherweight contender Eduardo “Zurdito” Ramirez
(26-2-3, 12 KOs) was in peak form, winning a wide
10-round unanimous decision over former world title
challenger Miguel Marriaga.
“I would like to thank the fans, SHOWTIME and the
Montiel family for supporting me. Marriaga was a tough
opponent, but I managed to dominate,” said Ramirez. “I
had a varied fighting style and kept him on his toes the
Marriaga (30-5, 26 KOs) was the aggressor throughout,
particularly in the first round as he backed Ramirez up
with combination punching. The latter found his range
midway through the frame, utilizing an accurate jab. In
the third, a right hook followed by an overhand left
floored an off-balance Marriaga for a flash knockdown.
“We started out strong, but then things got
progressively harder. Having said that, we are pleased
with the work we put in today,” said Marriaga. “We
should have been more savvy, but we tried our hardest in
the face of a great opportunity that unfortunately we
could not take advantage of.”
Ramirez dominated after scoring the knockdown, punishing
Marriaga from then on with an assortment of shots to the
head and body. Final punch stats had Ramirez landing 280
of 762 (36.7%) total punches to Marriaga’s 159 out of
“Now I'm going to relax with my family and enjoy the
holidays,” said Ramirez. “Then hopefully 2022 will come
with a title shot for me."