LOS ANGELES – Isaac Cruz is certain that he left a lasting impression on Gervonta Davis 13 months ago.

Cruz annihilated Diego Magdaleno in the first round on the Davis-Leo Santa Cruz undercard in October 2020 at Alamodome in San Antonio. The buzz began regarding Cruz challenging Davis in a main event once Cruz brutally knocked Magdaleno unconscious in the first round and Davis viciously knocked out Santa Cruz in the sixth round as part of the same show.

“Gervonta is a great champion,” Cruz said through a translator during an open workout Wednesday at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. “And if he said that I’m a tougher fight than Rolando Romero, then there is a reason for that. He knows that I’m a better fighter than Romero because he saw me fight in San Antonio. There is a reason for his comments.”

Cruz referred to Davis’ initial instinct when he answered a question during a virtual press conference November 15. Davis first indicated that Cruz would provide a tougher test than Romero (14-0, 12 KOs), but the powerful southpaw from Baltimore quickly noted that he’d have to box both of them before he could accurately assess who’s better.

Nevertheless, Cruz’s circuitous route to the biggest fight of his career will conclude Sunday night, when he’ll face Davis in a 12-round fight for Davis’ WBA world lightweight title at Staples Center. Cruz was penciled in to fight on the Davis-Romero undercard, but he replaced Romero on five weeks’ notice because a woman with whom Romero was once acquainted accused him late in October of sexually assaulting her during the fall of 2019.

Detectives for the Henderson (Nevada) Police Department are investigating her allegation, but Romero has not been charged with a crime.

The rugged Cruz, meanwhile, feels he has the style and the toughness to withstand Davis’ vaunted power and pull off an upset in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.

“I’m here to do my job to win the fight,” Cruz said, “and whether it’s by decision or knockout, I’m going to try to win no matter what. I am going to show everybody that Isaac Cruz is a true Mexican warrior and I’m going to show them what I’m worth with every punch I throw. They will see what I’m worth on Sunday, December 5th.”

Baltimore’s Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) is at least a 12-1 favorite over Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs), according to most reputable sportsbooks. The bout between Davis, 27, and Cruz, 23, will headline a four-fight pay-per-view show that costs $74.99 and is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. PT.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.