Isaac Cruz knows his place ahead of the biggest fight of his career, with the place he prefers well within his sights.

The streaking lightweight contender is relishing in the role of underdog in an expected showdown with unbeaten knockout artist Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (25-0, 24KOs). Cruz (22-1-1, 15KOs) received the call earlier this month to face Davis atop the December 5 Showtime Pay-Per-View event, replacing Rolando Romero (legal issues) on roughly five weeks’ notice versus a rising star who is heavily favored to prevail.

That doesn’t make him unbeatable, or so believes the ambitious challenger.  

“In the end, it’s going to be up to Gervonta Davis to prove his potential superstar status in the ring,” Cruz insisted during a recent virtual press conference to discuss the upcoming WBA “World” lightweight title fight. “To me personally, he’s not an impossible mountain to climb.

“He’s not impossible to dethrone, either.”

Mexico City’s Cruz was already preparing to appear on the December 5 undercard when he was approached to face Davis in the main event. The discussion came about after Romero was named in an ongoing investigation accusing the unbeaten Las Vegas-based lightweight of sexual assault which prompted Mayweather Promotions and Showtime to remove him from the bill.

Many in the industry consider Cruz to be an upgrade from a talent perspective, though perhaps less marketable and still given little chance of pulling off the upset. That mentality works fine for the 23-year-old contender, who is 17-0-1 in his last 18 fights since suffering his lone career defeat and is perfectly content in playing the role of potential spoiler.

“According to the odds, I am the underdog,” acknowledges Cruz. “I know I’m swimming upstream when it comes to that. I know most if not all think that I’m the clear underdog.

“It motivates me to join all of the stars, which is what I expect to do when I win this fight. I’m ready to shock the world.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox