WITH an astonishing, countering left uppercut, Gervonta Davis knocked Leo Santa Cruz cold. The two, who weighed in at 130lbs, were fighting for the WBA super-featherweight world title, and somehow also a ‘regular’ lightweight title from the WBA, at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday (October 31).

Santa Cruz seemed inspired at the start of the fight. He father had been gravely ill earlier this year, almost dying from coronavirus, but he fought back to health to be at his son’s side for this occasion. Leo began brightly, busy as he hammered shots to the body and drove forward into Davis.

But Davis, a southpaw, had the more explosive fists. He looked to detonate hooks round Santa Cruz’s guard, not throwing as often but hitting to hurt when he did.

Santa Cruz worked well, finishing the exchanges that Davis initiated. He clipped Gervonta with persistent lefts and found openings to the body. But as the fight progressed, Davis adjusted, overcoming his discomfort in the early rounds. He began to hurt Santa Cruz in the sixth. The Mexican fired right back at him, tearing forward yet again.

But Davis directed him towards the ropes. Santa Cruz let another right loose but with full force Davis drove a left uppercut into and through the point of his chin. It jarred Santa Cruz’s head back and the Mexican’s legs gave way beneath him. He collapsed on his back, flat the canvas and was unresponsive for several worrying moments before he could be revived.

He left the ring on his own feet however, waving and smiling ruefully to his supporters in the arena.

Davis has made a statement. He is a threat, especially at super-featherweight, and says he can campaign at either 130 or 135lbs. “Just line them up,” he declared, “I’ll knock them down one by one.”