LOS ANGELES – Gervonta Davis didn’t injure his left hand during his fight with Isaac Cruz on Sunday night.
The powerful southpaw aggravated an existing injury sustained during training camp for their lightweight title fight. Davis confirmed what his longtime trainer, Calvin Ford, revealed during their post-fight press conference, that he fought through a hand injury during training camp.
Cruz ended Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak and took the unbeaten Baltimore native 12 rounds for the first time in Davis’ eight-year pro career. The 27-year-old Davis (26-0, 24 KOs) won a unanimous decision, but the rugged Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) pressed the heavily favored fighter throughout their bout and won more rounds versus Davis than previous opponents in this Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at Staples Center.
Judges Carla Caiz (115-113), Max De Luca (115-113) and Zachary Young (116-112) all scored their fight for Davis.
Davis didn’t mention his pre-existing hand injury until Ford brought it up toward the end of his press conference late Sunday night.
“Yeah, but I don’t wanna put it on my hand,” Davis said. “You know what I mean? I did what I did. It’s about boxing. You know what I mean? I knew I was coming in [with a hand injury in] this fight. Forget the hand. I did what I had to do.”
The hard-hitting Davis aggravated his hand injury by continually hitting the shorter Cruz on the top of his head. The extent of the WBA world lightweight champion’s injury was not known as of Monday morning, but Davis’ handlers planned for him to see a hand specialist this week.
“I think that it’s the first time it ever happened to me,” Davis said. “You know, I feel like it’s not just one knuckle, but a couple of ‘em. My hand is shaking a little bit, but that’s [nothing.] It ain’t no big deal. I got the job done, so we’ll move on.”
Ford became emotional while discussing Davis’ ability to fight through adversity against a durable opponent who has never been knocked out.
“Lemme explain something to y’all – [Davis’] hand got hurt in camp,” Ford said. “He never complained about it. He came out here and put on a helluva show. That’s the bottom line. He fought this kid with one hand. He came in the corner at the sixth round and said, ‘My hand is hurting.’ And if you look at the tape, I said, ‘Man, I don’t wanna hear that. Fight through it.’ And he done it. Y’all gotta give this young man his props.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.