Now that he has violently avenged his close loss to Chris Colbert, Jose Valenzuela wants to fight one of boxing’s biggest stars.
The 24-year-old lightweight contender called for a showdown with Gervonta Davis moments after his highlight-reel knockout of Colbert in the sixth round Saturday night at The Armory in Minneapolis. Valenzuela’s victory over Colbert came in a WBA lightweight elimination match and Davis holds the WBA’s secondary title in the 135-pound division.
“You know, everything happens for a reason,” Valenzuela told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “I gotta thank God. You know, I was patient. But, you know, I beat him twice now. This was a title eliminator and, you know, I wanna fight for the title. So, Tank Davis, let’s get it on, man. Let’s give these people a great show.”
Baltimore’s Davis doesn’t have a fight scheduled. It is believed that the left-handed knockout artist will headline Premier Boxing Champions’ first pay-per-view show as part of its new agreement with Amazon Prime.
Speculation persists that a rematch with rugged Mexican contender Isaac Cruz could be next for Davis (29-0, 27 KOs), but Davis has criticized Cruz publicly for continually calling him out. Davis defeated Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-round fight two years ago at Staples Center in Los Angeles, though Cruz pushed Davis, lost by only two points on two scorecards (115-113, 115-113, 116-112) and ended Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak in December 2021.
Cruz, 25, is the WBA’s number one contender in the lightweight division. Devin Haney recently relinquished the WBA’s legitimate lightweight title to remain in the 140-pound division, which could cause the WBA to order a Davis-Cruz rematch for its unclaimed 135-pound championship.
Valenzuela (13-2, 9 KOs) would be a young and new opponent for Davis. The Mexican-born southpaw was knocked out in the third round by Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) three fights ago, though, and narrowly lost a unanimous decision to Colbert (17-2, 6 KOs) in their first fight March 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, Valenzuela viciously knocked out Colbert with a sweeping right hook that left Colbert draped across a bottom rope and regained some of the momentum he built before he lost to De Los Santos in their brief firefight. The Renton, Washington resident, who is also affiliated with Al Haymon’s PBC, feels he has learned from his mistakes and is prepared to challenge Davis.
“I think I’m ready,” Valenzuela said. “You know, I put my heart and soul into this and I beat [Colbert] twice. I think I deserve it.”
Valenzuela also dismissed Colbert’s contention that they should fight a third time because they’re 1-1 in two bouts.
“I don’t think the fans wanna see that,” Valenzuela said. “You know, I beat him twice. You know, I’m grateful for him giving me the rematch, but I don’t think they wanna see that.”
Brooklyn’s Colbert beat Valenzuela by the same score, 95-94, on the cards of judges Glenn Feldman, Lisa Giampa and Don Trella 8½ months ago. Valenzuela dropped Colbert less than 30 seconds into their first fight, but Colbert got up, regained his legs, boxed effectively at times off his jab and edged Valenzuela on the cards.
Valenzuela produced another first-round knockdown Saturday night. Colbert got up and fought back again, yet Valenzuela ultimately produced a “Knockout of the Year” candidate in the co-feature of Showtime’s final boxing broadcast.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.