LOS ANGELES -- Gervonta Davis shot to boxing stardom with the support of Floyd Mayweather and a bundle of explosive knockouts.
"Tank" had Mayweather, his promoter and mentor, watching from ringside, but the fight-ending shot never materialized. In fact, Isaac Cruz, a major underdog from Mexico, never appeared to be in any danger at all.
Davis (26-0, 24 KOs), 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, didn't deliver the kind of spectacular performance fans were expecting, but he remained undefeated with a tougher-than-expected unanimous decision victory over Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs), 23, of Mexico, on Sunday before an announced attendance of 15,580 at Staples Center.
Two judges scored it 115-113 with a third tally of 116-112 for the Baltimore native.
"I hurt my hand, so I couldn't get him out of there," said Davis, a southpaw who barley threw a left hand over the final two rounds. "I was throwing down and I hit him on top of the head. I messed it up."
Davis remains undefeated with a unanimous decision victory over Cruz: 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. Far from the explosive performance Tank was looking for, but he gets the win.
Round 12: Davis only throwing jabs again. Cruz doesn't go for broke but does some decent body work to win the round. 10-9, Cruz. 115-113, Davis. Official scorecards should be interesting.
Round 11: Davis seems to be favoring his left arm. Barely threw a punch in that round. Cruz wins based on activity alone. 10-9, Cruz. 106-103, Davis.
Round 10: Clear round for Cruz. He connected with a left hook along the ropes preceded by a string of body shots. Davis continues to box and move rather than pressure. Fight heating up down the stretch. 10-9, Cruz. 97-93, Davis.
Round 9: Cruz just isn't applying enough pressure. He's doing some good work but in bursts. Davis is the more consistent fighter and his punches are becoming cleaner as the fight wears on. 10-9, Davis. 88-83, Davis.
Round 8: Davis opening up more and more, but he doesn't seem to be affecting Cruz too much with the power shots just yet. But Davis is winning rounds. Cruz with a late barrage and a few good lefts hands. 10-9, Davis. 78-74, Davis.
Round 7: Cruz needs to think about throwing a jab at some point in this fight to close distance. He's walking inside and just eating power shots. Davis now unloading with right hooks. Cruz's chin looks really good and he's game, but needs far more activity to win these rounds. 10-9, Davis. 68-65, Davis.
Round 6: Davis applies the pressure for the first time in the fight and delivers his best round all night. Cruz might be tiring. He missed wildly on a few power shots in that frame. 10-9, Davis. 58-56, Davis.
Round 5: Gervonta warned for shoving for the second time in the fight. He's doing good work with the right hand, but Cruz is making him work for it. Davis might need to back Cruz up. 10-9, Davis. 48-47, Davis.
Round 4: Isaac Cruz won't stop coming forward, and he is doing damage to the body. He switched it up to the head in that round and landed a pair of good left hooks. Gervonta still landing that powerful counter uppercut, but Cruz is outworking him. 10-9, Cruz. 38-38.
Round 3: Gervonta Davis continues to wait for the counter uppercut, and Isaac Cruz is happy to eat them on his way inside. Cruz has shown a good chin thus far as he looks to sink in the left hand to the liver. Good fight through three rounds. 10-9, Davis. 29-28, Davis.
Round 2: A close round, plenty more pressure from Cruz, but Davis connects on a few blistering counter uppercuts that gain Cruz's attention. 10-9, Davis. 19-19.
Round 1: Cruz fought the only way he can to have a chance to win, rolling forward the entire round with nonstop pressure. He landed a few good shots late in the round that brought the crowd to its feet. Clear opening frame for the Mexican fighter. 10-9, Cruz.
Fundora outpoints Garcia to stay unbeaten
In a junior middleweight title eliminator, Sebastian Fundora outlasted Sergio Garcia to win by unanimous decision. Standing at 6-foot-5½, Fundora battled Garcia on the inside and prevailed via judge's scores of 115-113, 117-111 and 118-110.
"The Towering Inferno" was stunned in Round 4 following a looping overhand right from Garcia, who conceded six inches in height. However, the 29-year-old Garcia couldn't follow up and lost for the first time as a pro.
Fundora (18-0-1, 12 KOs), of West Palm Beach, Florida, entered the bout ranked No. 5 by ESPN at 154 pounds. The 23-year-old is now one step closer to a shot at whoever emerges victorious in the Feb. 26 undisputed title fight rematch between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano.
Garcia (33-1, 14 KOs) was fighting in the United States for the first time and outside his home country of Spain for just the second time.
Adames upsets Derevyanchenko, becomes a player at middleweight
In an upset, Carlos Adames finally fulfilled his vast potential with a majority decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko. One judge scored it 95-95, but that was outweighed by tallies of 97-93 and 96-94 for Adames on the other two scorecards.
The middleweight title eliminator was a slugfest from the opening bell. Adames (21-1, 16 KOs) was buzzed in Round 5 and Derevyanchenko unloaded, but no knockdown came close to materializing. The 160-pound bout was contested largely on the inside with both boxers disregarding defense. And it's no surprise, as Derevyanchenko has long been known as one of the most reliable action fighters in the sport.
What was stunning was the way he faded down the stretch. Adames, whose only loss came in a 154-pound fight against Patrick Teixeira in November 2019, was released by Top Rank afterward. Now with PBC and at 160 pounds, Adames, 27, has new life.
Adames, who hails from the Dominican Republic, is in line to fight Jaime Munguia next year for the right to challenge Charlo for a middleweight title. At 36, Derevyanchenko, on the other hand, could be slipping toward gatekeeper status. The Ukrainian has won just one of his past five bouts. The other three losses did, however, come against some of the best in boxing: Charlo, Daniel Jacobs, and Gennadiy Golovkin.
Derevyanchenko (13-4, 10 KOs) entered the fight rated No. 6 at middleweight by ESPN.
Ramirez dominates Marriaga for decision victory
Eduardo Ramirez outpointed Miguel Marriaga in a 130-pound fight to kick off the Davis-Cruz PPV broadcast. All three judges scored it the same: 99-90.
Ramirez (26-2-3, 12 KOs) sent Marriaga (30-5, 26 KOs) down with an overhand left with seconds remaining in the third round. The 26-year-old from Mexico used that punch to great effect throughout the bout. He consistently beat Marriaga to the punch and created tremendous swelling around both of Marriaga's eyes.
With the victory, Ramirez inches closer to title contention at junior lightweight. Marriaga, a 35-year-old from Colombia, is best known for losing to Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oscar Valdez in 2017.