Baltimore boxer Gervonta Davis' pay-per-view debut against Leo Santa Cruz will move back a week, to Halloween night, and will take place in front of a live crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Showtime Sports and Mayweather Promotions announced Friday.
The main event will be contested at 130 pounds, with two different championship belts — Santa Cruz’s World Boxing Association super featherweight title and Davis' WBA lightweight title — on the line. Showtime’s pay-per-view broadcast, featuring a three-fight undercard, will begin at 9 p.m.
“I’m looking forward to showing the world how hard I’ve been working in camp,” Davis said in a statement. “We are just a few weeks away, and I’m already in great shape. Headlining on pay-per-view has always been a dream of mine since I started boxing. I can’t wait to put on a spectacular performance against multiple division world champion Leo Santa Cruz.”
Davis (23-0, 22 knockouts) will face arguably the toughest matchup of his career in a fight expected to produce fireworks because of the aggressive style of each champion. The 32-year-old Santa Cruz (37-1-1) has won world titles in four weight classes ranging from 118 to 130 pounds. He called Davis “maybe the toughest opponent of my career.”
“Davis is known for his power,” Santa Cruz said. “But I think with my experience and ring IQ I can break him down. He’s probably going to be very aggressive in the early rounds. But if I do what I’m supposed to, and execute our game plan, I will win.”
Fans attending the fight (tickets go on sale 11 a.m. Monday) will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entry, will be required to wear masks and will be seated in “pods” to maintain social distancing between groups that do not arrive together.
Davis' promoter, Floyd Mayweather, said the matchup “is such a great fight that we had to have it with fans, which will be a first for a major boxing event since COVID-19 started.”
The 25-year-old Davis became one of the sport’s most reliable live draws last year, when he attracted large crowds in three different cities, including a sellout at his hometown Royal Farms Arena.
The Santa Cruz fight will be his first this year.
The Baltimore native still faces misdemeanor battery charges stemming from a public altercation with the mother of his child at a charity basketball game in February. There’s no hearing currently scheduled in the case, according to Florida court records.