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Isaac Cruz

Isaac Cruz wants Cabrera as another stepping stone

Cruz and Cabrera will tee up Spence-Crawford co-main event

Isaac Cruz is one of Mexico’s most highly-regarded boxing prospects. The so-called Pitbull’s ravening boxing style and intensity in the ring has caught the attention of many boxing fans.

The ferocious aggression he has shown his opponents has Cruz living up to his nickname. Nonetheless Cruz’s journey as the future of Mexican boxing has been fueled by sacrifices he has made throughout his career, most notably being away from his family.

“The hardest thing I ever had to do was that I had to tell my wife and kids ‘today, I can’t take you for ice cream,’” Cruz said. “I’m fortunate that I train close to them, but I still miss them a lot.

“At the end of the day, it only makes it more important that I make the most of these sacrifices and fight to my full ability.”

Cruz will fight the undefeated Giovanni Cabrera at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night. Cruz and Cabrera will feature in the co-main event. Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and Terence “Bud” Crawford will feature in the co-main event to become the first undisputed welterweight world champion of the four-belt era.

Isaac Cruz eager to take next step up

Considering that Spence is the unified WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champ, and Crawford is the WBO champion, much of the boxing world will focus on the SHOWTIME PPV card. Those eyeballs will be on Cruz and Cabrera before the two undefeated welterweight champs meet.

The 5-foot-9 Cabrera (21-0) taunted the 5-foot-4 Cruz on Friday after they weighed in. Cruz hopes this bout moves him closer to accomplishing his mission. Cruz, a Mexico City, native has been prepotent after losing to Gervonta Davis.

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The diminutive Cruz took the fight against Davis on short notice after Rolando Romero was forced to back out of the fight. With little time to prepare, Cruz showcased his skills in front of a sellout crowd in Los Angeles. 

Cruz, 25, took Davis to 12 rounds, but he ultimately lost by unanimous decision. It was a close nonetheless with two of the three judges scoring the fight 115-113.

Spence Crawford
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and Terence “Bud” Crawford meet after weighing in a day before they fight to become the first undisputed Welterweight World Champion of the four-belt era. Photo by Esther Lin (SHOWTIME).

Since his second professional loss, Cruz has defeated Yuriorkis Gamboa and Eduardo Ramirez in dominant fashion. Cruz ended the fight against Ramirez in the second round after an electrifying combination of blows gave referee Jack Reiss no other option than to stop the fight.

Mexican pride 

While he is focused on defeating Cabrera, Cruz has his mind set on the future. He is itching to bring a lightweight title back to Mexico. 

“I am ready to put Mexico on top once again,” Cruz said. “and show that I am meant to go up against the best. I’m making sure that I’m working harder and smarter and making the most of everything I do in the gym.”

The 11th best ranked lightweight boxer comes from a boxing background. His grandfather Memo Cruz and his father Isaac Cruz Sr. were professional boxers in Mexico. Isaac Cruz Sr. has instilled in Pitbull the qualities that are needed to be a champion. 

“It may sound cliché,” Cruz says, “but it truly is about dedication, hard work and discipline. Being just a regular fighter is taking the easy way out. Saying no to a glass of water or to being out with friends is hard. What we do is beautiful, but it’s hard. If you want to be an elite athlete, you have to learn how to live with sacrifice.”

Cabrera provides a stiff test

With a victory against Cabrera, Cruz could inch closer to earning a fight against either Devin Haney or Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Isaac Cruz
Undefeated lightweight Giovanni Cabrera, who is 5-foot-9, taunts the 5-foot-4 Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz ahead of their WBC and WBA Lightweight title eliminator fight. Photo by Esther Lin (SHOWTIME).

Haney defeated Lomachenko in May to be crowned as the undisputed champion. Cruz wants to fight every big name in the lightweight division, including Ryan Garcia. 

Cabrera will not be an easy task. The Seattle native is undefeated with 21 wins and seven knockouts. His last three bouts were won by unanimous decisions. He defeated rising prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. 

With his family in his corner, Cruz is optimistic that he can achieve greatness at the lightweight division. 

“I fight at my best because of the love and support I receive from my family.” Cruz said. 

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