INSIDE THE RING: Davis and Santa Cruz talk matchup with KSAT 12 Sports

Saturday’s main event fighters share their thoughts ahead of Showtime fight card

Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz met the media Thursday, October 29, 2020 ahead of their matchup in the Alamodome. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin and Showtime. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – Thursday marked the final day fighters would address the media before Saturday’s fights in the Alamodome. Thousands of boxing fans watched online to hear from the main event fighters Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz.

“There’s a lot of fans that believe in me and I do not want to disappoint them," said Santa Cruz to KSAT 12 Sports Thursday afternoon. "To all those people who are doubting me, I want to prove them wrong.”

“There’s no pressure on me, it’s a normal fight for me and I have to go out there and get the job done,” Davis added. “My job is not just fight but look great while doing it. My job is to go out there and do what I do best and put on a clinic.”

Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) will face Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) in a 12-round super featherweight contest for for Santa Cruz’s WBA Super Featherweight title and Davis' Lightweight title. Davis, who has been criticized for having trouble making weight in the past, is prepared for Friday’s final weigh-in.

“I feel great, not drained or nothing,” said Davis. “I feel good. I can’t wait to show people that it’s not hard for me to make 130 pounds as long as I’m focused. I can do whatever I put my mind to.”

This will be the second time Santa Cruz has fought under a Showtime broadcast in the Alamodome. In 2013, Santa Cruz won by unanimous decision over Cesar Seda, a fight that was headlined by the Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana fight.

“I’ve fought here before, fought a lefty guy and Davis is another lefty,” Santa Cruz said. “I have to fight a smart fight, go out there, have fun, enjoy the fight and give it my all, listen to my corner and by doing that, I’ll win the fight.”

The Alamodome will host the first boxing matches in the country to have fans in attendance since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. It will be a welcomed scene for two fighters who have not fought in almost a year.

“It’s going to feel great seeing the fans out there," said Santa Cruz. “The fans are the ones that cheer you up, give you motivation so I was really excited and happy to hear they would be there.”

Having Dad In His Corner

Most big fights have behind-the-scenes previews to hype up the main event.

For Santa Cruz, his motivation to do well Saturday is something no other boxer has ever dealt with.

Showtime Sports “All Access” does another great job preparing fans for the Davis/Santa Cruz showdown. The most striking story in the two-part series features how Santa Cruz almost lost his father and trainer, Jose Santa Cruz, to COVID-19 this summer. Jose, a cancer survivor, was in a coma for a few weeks while he was treated and recovered away from his family.

You can see the feature on YouTube here.

“Thank God he’s feeling alright, he’s been good,” said Santa Cruz about his father. “Thank God he’s going to be here in the corner with me, that’s what we prayed for, that’s what we wanted and I’m going to have his support.”

Boxing Bubble

All fighters and boxing personnel have spent most of the week inside the “boxing bubble” at the Marriott Rivercenter. No one can get in without testing for the coronavirus and anyone that leaves must retest before being allowed back in.

“It’s a little frustrating, you can’t go anywhere or walk around,” described Santa Cruz. “We can’t see our families, we can’t see the fans but it’s for our own safety. After the weigh-in’s, we are used to going out and eating whatever we want. We can’t do that now so it’s frustrating and hard but this is our job and we can’t do nothing else.”

Despite the isolation, both fighters said they were being fed and treated well.

“Being here like this is like the amateurs,” Davis said. “It’s all about adapting to your environment. I wouldn’t be running around town when I have a fight coming up so this is all pretty normal to me.”

The final weigh-in is Friday at noon and can be viewed on Showtime Sports YouTube Channel. The pay-per-view price is $74.99 and tickets are still available through TicketMaster.com and the Alamodome Box Office.

You can get a preview of Mario Barrios co-main event matchup here.

Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 17 years and is an award-winning sports producer. To submit story ideas, email dvillanueva@ksat.com


About the Author:

Daniel P. Villanueva has been with KSAT 12 since 2003 and is the producer of our weekly sports show, "Instant Replay." Villanueva is a graduate of St. Mary's University and is a TAPB and Lone Star Emmy award winner.