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Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz: How Floyd Mayweather plays a massive role in shaping the young boxer's career

'Fighters can be their own worst enemies. A lot of times, I tell him that he is his. I'm always real with him because I care about him,' Mayweather said
Gervonta Davis with Floyd Mayweather (Getty Images)
Gervonta Davis with Floyd Mayweather (Getty Images)

For Gervonta Davis, having idol Floyd Mayweather by his side when he takes on Leo Santa Cruz in the WBA Super Featherweight and WBA Lightweight Championships bout will be massive motivation in itself. Even ahead of the bout, Davis spoke of how the boxing superstar was central while he prepped for the fight. 

Talking to The Last Stand Podcast with Brain Custer, Davis acknowledged Mayweather as someone who was more than his coach. “There are some things I can do with Floyd [Mayweather], and some things I know I can’t because we are different fighters… While I’m sparring, if I don’t get it he’ll get in there and spar.[He’ll] show me what he’s talking about… To be honest, he’s been hands-on more than my coach at this point."This speaks volumes about the relationship that goes back a long way. Davis watched Mayweather crushing his opponents in television and that was when he realized what he had to do.

The fight is Pay-Per-View, something Davis wanted since the early days of his career. The Baltimore boxer had previously spoken of being a PPV star fighter ahead of all the glory of becoming a champion. This was another Mayweather impact on Davis. While their relationship is pretty much a sine wave, there still seems to be massive respect that could be seen ahead of the bout.

"I believe in Tank. I have believed in him ever since he was a young kid," Mayweather said, according to CBS Sports.  "I still see that young kid and I told him, 'Someday, you are going to be on pay-per-view and when it comes, it's going to come real fast so be ready.'" The world is aware of the work ethic of the Olympic Gold medallist and for Mayweather, it was all about passing on his experiences that would shape Davis to be a better fighter.

"I'm always going to be hands-on as far as talking to him about life lessons and what he can do to become better inside the ring and outside of it," Mayweather said. "And I've been talking to him about not making the same kind of mistakes that I made outside of the ring. Fighters can be their own worst enemies. A lot of times, I tell him that he is his. I'm always real with him because I care about him."

"I want him to be in the gym just maintaining the weight and being responsible as a young man," he added. I also tell him the same thing that I did -- smart investments. I told him to invest so he doesn't end up like a lot of these other athletes and entertainers. That's the best thing about my career. It's not what I did inside the ring, it's what I did outside the ring and I'm able to live the same life. I am always going to be on top of Tank to be the best he can be."

All this is just ample proof that whatever bitterness they had over the years, there seem to have put it all behind, and as Davis looks to make it 24-0-0 against Cruz, every bit of advice coming in from Mayweather is crucial and is a life lesson beyond the ring.

The bout is slated to start at 9 pm ET on Saturday, October 31, 2020. The fight can be watched on Showtime PPV.