Isaac Cruz once again lived up to his ‘Pitbull’ moniker.

The compact lightweight contender from Mexico City was relentless in a second-round knockout of countryman Eduardo Ramirez. Cruz scored two knockdowns, the latter prompting an immediate stoppage at 2:22 into the second round of their WBC lightweight title eliminator Sunday evening at Arena in Los Angeles.

Cruz has rapidly developed a cult-like following in the sport, drawing raucous applause in the venue where he appeared just nine months ago. It came in a narrow defeat to unbeaten former two-time junior lightweight titlist Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in their secondary WBA lightweight title fight, though ending Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak.

A similar reception was offered ahead of Cruz’s one-sided fifth round knockout of faded former titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa on the Errol Spence-Yordenis Ugas undercard on April 16 in Arlington, Texas. A far more competitive effort was expected from Ramirez, a streaking junior lightweight contender from Los Mochis, Mexico who moved up in weight for the occasion.

The action was slow but steady in the opening round, though merely setting the table for an explosive finish. Ramirez rode out the early storm before getting clipped as he face planted to the canvas courtesy of a jarring left hook midway through round two. Ramirez was able to beat the count but was issued a hard warning by referee Jack Reiss to turn things around to avoid a stoppage.

Ramirez was unable to fend off a relentless Cruz, who cornered his taller foe in the final minute. A right hand snapped back the head of Ramirez (27-3-3, 12KOs) before a left hook finished the job, prompting an immediate stoppage.

Cruz advances to 24-2-1 (17KOs) with the win, which better positions him for a second shot at a lightweight title. Davis, who was seated ringside, laughed and shook his head at the in-ring request by Cruz for a rematch, before the Mexican slugger insisted on undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (28-0, 15KOs), who is already booked with an October 15 rematch with former unified champ George Kambosos Jr. in Melbourne, Australia.

No matter the next step, it’s clear that all eyes will be on the red hot lightweight contender.

Cruz-Ramirez aired as the co-feature of a four-fight PPV. Headlining the show, former unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) faces two-time title challenger Luis Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round WBC heavyweight semifinal eliminator.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox