Baltimore boxer Gervonta Davis puts weight issues to rest before title fight

Even though his 135-pound belt is at stake, Davis (23-0, 22 knockouts) had to weigh in as a super featherweight because Santa Cruz (37-1...

Even though his 135-pound belt is at stake, Davis (23-0, 22 knockouts) had to weigh in as a super featherweight because Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) is putting his 130-pound WBA championship up for grabs in the main event of a pay-per-view card to be televised on Showtime.

“Michael Jordan used to read the paper and do what they said he couldn’t do,” Davis said. “That’s what I’m doing. I have to prove that I’m the baddest man in the sport on Saturday night.”

In his last bout, Davis, 25, had to weigh in twice the day before facing Yuriorkis Gamboa in Atlanta in December. Davis moved up to 135 pounds for that fight but weighed 136½ when he first stepped onto the scale before the 12-round title fight at State Farm Arena.

Davis won by technical knockout in the 12th round with 1:17 remaining after also having sent Gamboa to the canvas in the second and eighth rounds. Although that victory delivered Davis the vacant WBA 135-pound championship, it was the first fight of his career that lasted into the 12th.

His previous three fights ended in the third, first and second rounds, respectively, including a knockout of Ricardo Nunez in July 2019 to claim the WBA 130-pound title he subsequently relinquished to move up to fight Gamboa.

In the years since that fight, Mayweather has become a mentor to Davis, so much so that Davis moved his most recent training camp out of his hometown, where he has prepared for all of his previous matches, to Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas.

“Floyd Mayweather has just told me to stay focused despite everything that comes with pay-per-view week,” Davis said. “I have to get the job done first but also do everything that comes with being the next pay-per-view star.”

Davis spent 15 weeks in Las Vegas, leaving family and friends behind to avoid the myriad distractions that accompany training in Baltimore. He also hired a personal chef, another step underscoring his commitment to making sure he has no issues making weight.

It’s unclear how much, if at all, the rigorous training regimen to cut weight will affect Davis’s power against Santa Cruz, 32, a four-division champion who has never been knocked out and vows to go the distance in what he has said will be the most difficult fight of his career.

“I’m facing the best fighter in the division,” said Santa Cruz, whose past three fights have gone the full 12 rounds. “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. I have to go against the best fighter. I wanted to challenge myself. I know this is a dangerous fight for me, but I want to test myself.”

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Newsrust: Baltimore boxer Gervonta Davis puts weight issues to rest before title fight
Baltimore boxer Gervonta Davis puts weight issues to rest before title fight
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