The Alamo is notorious for famous battles and this past Saturday was no exception. We were treated to an entertaining clash that was action packed from the jump.
Round 1 was not your typical feeling out process. Santa Cruz came out active and pumping his jab, looking to utilize his height and reach advantage. Davis was looking for his opportunities to counter, and was able to open a small cut on the nose of Santa Cruz. Round 2, Santa Cruz came out aggressive, applying more pressure, and really letting his hands go. He was absolutely the busier fighter.
Tank was still content to pick his shots and counter when necessary. The theme of the fight early on had been established. Santa Cruz was not afraid to mix it up, but could he hold up against the power shots that were being delivered in return? Round 3, Tank was looking to jab and box more to close the distance. Davis also started committing to the body attack in effort to slow down the Santa Cruz punch output.
Round 4 saw both fighters throwing caution to the wind. They both came out throwing haymakers. Santa Cruz was landing his fair share of punches, but you could see that “Tank” was landing the harder more effective shots. Round 5, both fighters went back to being a technical affair with Davis resorting back to his counterpunching when Santa Cruz went on the attack.
During Round 6, the action once again picked up. Santa Cruz was throwing accurate combinations, landing at a consistent clip. There was a brief break in the action when the ref halted the fight momentarily to issue a warning to Davis for a low blow. Santa Cruz did not take the 5 minutes allotted to a fighter after a low blow, opting to resume after about a minute or so. Davis stalked across the ring, pushing Santa Cruz to the ropes. With has back to the ropes, Santa Cruz was fighting well to keep Davis off of him. During the exchange, Davis uncorked a hellacious left uppercut that left Santa Cruz unconscious before he hit the ground.
The fight was immediately waved off by referee Rafael Ramos. The official time of the stoppage was 2:40 in the round 6. The scores at the time of the stoppage was 48-47, 48-47, 48-47 all for Davis.
With the win, Davis reclaims his WBA 130lb. title that he relinquished last year in order to move up to lightweight. He also retained his 135lb. WBA title that he won with his 12th round TKO with Yuriorkis Gamboa in December of last year. This win moves Davis to 24-0, 23 KO’s, and extends his current knockout streak to 15 straight fights.
This was the first KO defeat for Santa Cruz in his 14-year career. This was the only time he officially had ever been knocked down. He suffered a knockdown in 2009 in his 11th fight, but the referee retracted it and apologized because the knockdown came from an illegal rabbit punch. This loss snaps Santa Cruz’s 5 fight winning streak, since defeating Carl Frampton in their rematch in 2017.