Isaac Cruz delivered the most memorable knockout of his six-year pro career on one of Gervonta Davis’ undercards last year.
The Mexican lightweight’s vicious first-round demolition of Diego Magdaleno in October 2020 was what first established him as a potential opponent for the undefeated Davis. Thirteen months after recording that sensational stoppage at Alamodome in San Antonio, a confident Cruz believes his power will be the determining factor in the outcome of his upcoming shot at Davis’ WBA world lightweight title.
When asked during a virtual press conference what makes him think he can knock off the favored Davis on December 5 in Los Angeles, the Mexico City native didn’t think twice before mentioning his power.
“The fact that I can come forward and present my power,” Cruz said, according to an interpreter. “Once I show him my power, then I think the fight will take a turn.”
Davis smiled and reminded Cruz that he, not Cruz, is the one more known for his vaunted power.
“What about my power?,” Davis asked.
Baltimore’s Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) has boxing’s second-highest knockout percentage among active world champions (96 percent), behind only IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev. The Russian-born Beterbiev has knocked out each of 15 pro opponents entering his mandated WBC title defense against Marcus Browne (24-1, 16 KOs) on December 18 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
The 27-year-old Davis has beaten 16 straight opponents by knockout or technical knockout. The 23-year-old Cruz has won 63 percent of his pro bouts inside the distance (22-1-1, 15 KOs), but four of his past five fights have gone the distance.
Davis and Cruz will headline a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View event at Staples Center on the first Sunday night in December. They’ll fight for Davis’ secondary WBA 135-pound championship, though Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is the WBA’s true “super” champion in that weight class.
Cruz replaced Rolando Romero as Davis’ opponent on approximately five weeks’ notice because a woman informed police in Henderson, Nevada, that Romero sexually assaulted her at some point in the fall of 2019. Romero (14-0, 12 KOs), of North Las Vegas, Nevada, has not been charged with a crime, but he was removed from his fight versus Davis due to the seriousness of the allegation.
Romero remains the WBA’s number one contender in the lightweight division. Cruz is ranked eighth among the WBA’s contenders in the 135-pound weight class.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.