Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz is tentatively going to be the first major boxing or MMA event in the United States with fans in attendance since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reports that the junior lightweight title bout (set to air on Showtime PPV) will be moved back from October 24th to the 31st, as well as from Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut to San Antonio’s Alamodome.
Texas has the 2nd most COVID-19 positive cases in the United States, yet their very lenient measures on public gatherings has led to fans in attendance for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, as well as for the upcoming neutral-site Major League Baseball playoffs in Arlington. Alamodome can seat more than 70,000 people, so it’s unknown what percentage of the facility will be available to spectators. The inability to attract a live crowd has taken a big hit across all major boxing promoters’ bottom lines, so this decision is not surprising.
This is the first pay-per-view main event for both Davis and Santa Cruz. Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) is coming off a 12th round KO of Yuriorkis Gamboa last December. Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) defended his WBA 130 lbs title successfully in 2019 against Rafael Rivera and Miguel Flores. Both men have been criticized for their lack of high-level opposition faced, so fighting each other ought to do the trick.
Oh yeah, and this means that there won’t be two pay-per-views on the same day anymore. UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje now has October 24th all to itself.