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Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta Davis defeats Isaac Cruz by unanimous decision in rugged fight

Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta Davis defeated Isaac Cruz by unanimous decision Sunday night in one of the most difficult fights of his undefeated career.

Davis retained his World Boxing Association lightweight title, winning by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 over an action-packed 12 rounds. The southpaw injured his left hand midway through the fight and said that made it difficult for him to finish Cruz, who lived up to his “Pitbull” nickname by pressing the champion with a relentless body attack. It was the first time Davis (26-0) failed to knock out an opponent since 2014.

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“He’s a shorter fighter, so I was throwing down; I hit him on the top of his head,” Davis said after the fight. “I hit him with my knuckle and messed it up. I hurt my hand in the sixth round. No matter if the opponent is taller or shorter, I’ve got to get through it. He’s a warrior. Even though he didn’t win, a star was born tonight.”

The 23-year-old Cruz, who came on late, felt he deserved the decision, noting boos from spectators who felt he was robbed. “The fans are speaking on who won this fight,” he said.

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Davis, 27, drew a crowd of 15,850 to the Staples Center in Los Angeles as he headlined a Showtime pay-per-view for the third time. He has become one of the sport’s most reliable attractions, and after his victory, fans quickly began speculating about potential fights with other popular lightweights such as Ryan Garcia, George Kambosos and Devin Haney. In his post-fight interview, Davis said those opponents would be “easy work” and proclaimed himself “top dog” in the 135-pound weight class.

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