Davis’ time to shine

The stage is set, the lights are at their brightest and as Gervonta Davis steps up to his toughest challenge, we will see if not only he can pass the test, but if he is a PPV draw.

Davis will defend his WBA lightweight title against Leo Santa Cruz this Saturday on Showtime PPV from the Alamodome in San Antonio. Thankfully, this fight will have some fans in attendance, limited of course by social distancing.

In a unique twist, Santa Cruz will be putting his WBA junior lightweight title on the line as well. The fight will be fought at the junior lightweight limit of 130 pounds. Davis is installed as a heavy favorite of -600 at BetMGM, while the Westgate SuperBook has +500 as a take back on Santa Cruz.

Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) has a solid list of contenders on his resume, but doesn’t have a name with the quality of Santa Cruz yet. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) is a very talented boxer, but against Davis he’s dealing with a new level of speed and power. You might remember Santa Cruz from his two entertaining scraps with Carl Frampton where the pair traded majority decisions with Santa Cruz winning the most recent fight.

Davis is the complete offensive package — power and speed — a combination which elevates a lot of boxers to the top of the business. Paired up with Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions, Davis comes in with some big expectations. 

 With this being Davis’ first foray into PPV, I think he wins this fight in style. Santa Cruz is the right fighter at the right time and Davis delivers a knockout around round 8 or 9. If you can find a prop on Davis by KO go that route to save yourself some cash vs. laying the big chalk favorite. Anything under -150 is playable for me as most will probably think Santa Cruz lasts the distance. DAVIS BY KO

Top Rank card

Also this weekend “The Monster” arrives in Las Vegas, as Top Rank presents the American debut of Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue defending his Ring Magazine, IBF and WBA bantamweight titles against Jason Maloney this Saturday at The Bubble inside MGM Grand. The fight will be on ESPN+.

Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) is ranked as The Ring Magazine’s No.2 pound-for-pound fighter and reminds me of a young Manny Pacquiao. The SuperBook has the champion listed at -1000, while the takeback of +650 can be found at William Hill.

Maloney (21-1, 18 KOs), who is Ring Magazine’s No.6-ranked bantamweight, is a nice fighter. He has some solid skills, but Inoue is on another level.

For those not familiar with this fighter, do yourself a favor and go to YouTube.com and watch some highlights. There is a reason he’s called “The Monster.” Laser-fast hands, one-punch power, and did I mention he puts this together in combinations?

Feel free to add Inoue to any of those silly college football chalk money line parlays so many of you love to put in. This is a favorite that is here to make an impression and start making Top Rank some Pacquiao-like money someday they hope. INOUE