One of the Faces of American Boxing, Gervonta Davis, Returns Dec. 5

  • Gervonta Davis and Isaac Cruz fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 5.
  • Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe is expecting an explosive contest.
  • “You can’t have nothing but a big explosion in this fight,” Ellerbe told Insider.

Isaac Cruz became a future opponent for Gervonta Davis when he threw punishing punches in bunches, scored multiple knockdowns, and returned a first-round knockout on a Mayweather Promotions show last year.

Watching with interest was Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, who spoke to Cruz’s boxing manager Sean Gibbons.

“Yo, your boy did his thing,” Ellerbe told Gibbons.

The Mexican southpaw’s drilling of Diego Magdaleno at the Alamodome in San Antonio left a mark on Ellerbe. He was impressed. Cruz could one day box ‘Tank’ Davis, a budding superstar in the fight game.

Davis went out later that night and scored a thunderous uppercut on Leo Santa Cruz in the main event, in what became a Knockout of the Year contender.

He then returned to the ring in June 2021 for an 11th round knockout win over Mario Barrios in front of a raucous Atlanta crowd, and was scheduled to box Rolly Romero before the end of the year.

Romero, though, was removed from the event because of a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault that took place in 2019, according to a Boxing Scene report.

But a seed was planted in Ellerbe’s mind last year to one day match his fighter with Cruz.

Now, that day is fast approaching.

“These two guys are coming together for one big collision on December 5,” Ellerbe told Insider last week.

Cruz is a ‘very dangerous fighter,’ according to Ellerbe

Isaac Cruz flexes during a pre-fight event.


Isaac Cruz flexes during a pre-fight event.

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

As Davis is little more than five-feet, five-inches tall and competes between the super featherweight and super lightweight range of weight classes, he has frequently had to fight opponents taller than he is.

But against Cruz, he is presented with a different challenge. The 23-year-old, nicknamed “Pitbull,” is stocky and five-feet, four-inches tall.

“He’s a very dangerous fighter, and like I’ve told Tank, repeatedly, you really got to be on point with this guy, stay close to him. Because, again, styles make fights. They call him Pitbull for a reason,” said Ellerbe.

“It’s rare you see in Tank’s case, most guys he’s fought have been taller than he is. When you look at Pitbull, he’s shorter than Tank, but he’s a very aggressive young fighter.

“There’s a reason why he’s ranked in the top-10 for every organization and governing body that’s out there. That tells you everything you need to know, being one of the top lightweights in the world.”

Ellerbe continued: “His style of fighting, a pressure fighter who looks to get you out of there, is very similar to Tank. You can’t have nothing but a big explosion in this fight. Isaac Cruz is coming to win the fight against Gervonta Davis.”

Ellerbe says Tank is one of the faces of world boxing

Leonard Ellerbe pictured alongside Gervonta Davis in 2021.


Leonard Ellerbe pictured alongside Gervonta Davis in 2021.

Photo by Prince Williams/Getty Images

If boxing’s No.1 fighter Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is a worldwide face of the fight game, and Anthony Joshua is a star for Britain, then Davis — alongside Errol Spence Jr — is the face of American boxing.

Davis is unique in the boxing industry. He is a monster ticket-seller regardless of where he’s fighting, be it Baltimore, Atlanta, San Antonio, or Los Angeles.

“Tank has a tremendous following around the world,” Ellerbe told us.

“He has just as many west coast fans as east coast fans, and they love Tank’s fighting style because he’s not looking to play around with these guys, he’s looking to give the fans knockouts.

“We expect a tremendous turnout at the Staples Center on December 5. Again, he’s going up against a guy who I know will be able to push Tank and vice versa.

“This is a tremendous fight between two young guys looking to go in there and give the fans exactly what they want and that’s why this fight will end in a knockout.”

With Cruz representing Mexico, Ellerbe and Tank are aware that he will be looking to continue riding the wave of energy that a Mexican audience brings to the sport, considering Canelo’s status and ruthless winning run.

“Cruz has nothing to lose,” Ellerbe said. “He’s got Manny Pacquiao in his team, and they’ve been raving about this kid for a while now.

“Mexico is riding high especially after the historic victory Canelo Alvarez had just two weeks ago.

“With Cruz being from Mexico City, the entire country is riding high, and he’s looking to give them some more to feel great about by coming in and knocking off one of the biggest stars in the sport in Gervonta Davis.”

For Ellerbe, it’s Tank’s job to nullify that.

“He has to continue the great streak that he is on by showing people why he is the most exciting fighter in the entire world, and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.”

The Davis and Cruz fight will be broadcast on Showtime pay-per-view.

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