Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz – Yuriorkis Gamboa discuss their April 16th fight

By Boxing News - 03/29/2022 - Comments

By Jack Tiernan: Former lightweight world title challenger Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz and former WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa discussed their upcoming clash on April 16th on Showtime PPV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Cruz (22-2-1, 15 KOs) and Gamboa (30-4, 18 KOs) are chief support on the undercard of the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas fight.

Isaac Cruz: “There was never a real offer, there was never a real negotiation,” said Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz when asked why he didn’t fight Ryan Garcia. “What Oscar De La Hoya, what he did, was he tried to negotiate via social media, which I personally thought was unprofessional.

“When [promoter] Sean Gibbons replied via Twitter, then nothing ever came of it anyway. That’s when we went towards Gamboa because the [Ryan] Garcia fight was never close to becoming a reality.

“I wish I had pressured more,” said Isaac Cruz on what he felt he should have different in his last fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis on December 5th.

“I think if I had knocked him down one more time on December 5th, we would have had a different story. It would have been me with my arm raised. Everything that happened in that fight made me better, and even now my profile has been increased.

“I’m focused on getting ready for my next fight and proving for my fans to give them the fight that they want and the show that they need, and I know what I can give them.

“What I have to say is that my punches are going to talk inside the ring. I’m ready for whatever he brings,” said Pitbull Cruz about Gamboa.

Yuriorkis Gamboa: “I’m a pro. I’m not in the business of sending messages and making statements,” said Yuriorkis Gamboa. “What I’m focused on is trying to become #1 and being the best that I can be inside the ring in order to beat my opponent. The rest is just the talk.

“It’s all about the preparation,” said Gamboa. “We’re getting ready to change the narrative, to change the outcome of the fight. With that kind of preparation, we can come out with the win on April 16th.

“The way that we’re being prepared for this fight and what’s at stake, that alone says that I’m still one of the top fighters in this division,” said Gamboa.

Pitbull Cruz: “It’s really not for me to say that one punch can change it all or not,” said Pitbull Cruz. “What I’m focused on is being the most prepared and being as ready as I can on April 16th. We’ll see what happens inside the ring on that day,” Cruz said.

Image: Isaac 'Pitbull' Cruz - Yuriorkis Gamboa discuss their April 16th fight

“I have a tactical plan, I have a strategy ready to go for whatever happens. I’m ready for anything in my way, and I’m planning to face anything and everything,” said Gamboa.

Sean Gibbons: “Everybody saw Isaac Cruz’s coming out party against Gervonta Davis,” said Pitbull’s promoter Sean Gibbons.

“Everyone thought that Isaac Cruz was going to be an easy mark for Gervonta Davis, he was going to take him out, he was no competition. He literally almost ran Gervonta Davis out of the ring, so we’re very excited.

“His Instagram handle went from 27,000 up to 185,000,” said Gibbons about Isaac Cruz. “So coming into this fight there are a lot more expectations, people are excited to see him.

“The reason that Yuriorkis Gamboa was selected is that he’s a great fighter, he’s a former world champion, he’s an Olympian, he’s a name fighter. He gave Gervonta a good fight, he gave Devin a good fight. So it’s a great gauge to see what Isaac Cruz does with him moving forward.

“I always hear people say that Gamboa brings his A-game and fighters bring their better fights against him. So we’ve got a lot of respect for him, but I just think it’s Isaac Cruz’s time and it’s going to be a great night in Dallas on April 16th,” said Gibbons.

Gamboa: “I have the advantage in my experience, but I’m going to rely on my preparation and rely on my strategy in order to fight and win any way I can.”

Pitbull Cruz: “Each fight is different, and I’m going to be ready for whatever Yuriorkis has to offer. I’m getting ready in a great way, and I’m going to show you guys all the new things I can provide in the ring in that fight.

“We are working on absolutely everything. We have studied Gamboa in-depth, and we are working on everything that is good and bad in his favor and against him. I’m not going to reveal anything specific, but what I can say is we’re going to be ready on April 16th.”

Gamboa: “I’m going to show everybody that is going to be watching on TV and are going to be ringside that Yuriorkis Gamboa is here to stay, and that Yuriorkis Gamboa can still be the best in the division. That’s going to be my ultimate goal on Saturday, April 16th. You’re going to see it.”

Pitbull Cruz: “I learned a valuable lesson because I learned that I have to be focused inside the fight [against Gervonta Davis] at every moment. I cannot lose my focus at any time, and I want to show people that I’m the Mexican fighter that can rule the 135-lb division. I can promise you that.

“Two things. I’m preparing for however long it takes to get that win. One round or twelve rounds, it doesn’t matter to me. I have to win and I have to put on a show for the fans, I’m well aware of that.

“Then, trust me, I’m going to be ready to show those four fighters that you mentioned that I can fight any of them and that I belong right up there with any of them.

“It’s up to them. If they want to showcase themselves and show that they belong, then for sure, they’re going to want to fight against me. If they want to go around me or if they’re intimidated by me, then they’re not going to want to fight me.

“I’m going to make sure that anyone that doesn’t want to fight me, I’m going to step in front of them and say, ‘No, I’m here and you’re going to have to face me because Isaac Cruz is here to stay.”

Gamboa: “What motivates me is the courage, the discipline, and the fire that burns inside me to become a world champion once again.

“A lot of people are overlooking what I still have left in the tank, what quality fighter I still am, but people are going to see that is just noise. They’re going to see the difference between us on April 16th.”

Pitbull Cruz: “I respect him and I thank him for giving me the opportunity to fight him. His resume, everything he’s done as an amateur and as a professional, that’s beyond reproach. That’s something honorable no matter how you look at it.

“I’m here to show that I can be one of the top fighters in the division, and I can stand in front of anybody no matter how many trophies, how many metals, or how many titles they have because I’m coming for everybody.”

Gamboa: “Regardless of what happens, it’s really up to me to get the win. It doesn’t matter what anybody says. If I prepare the right way and I do the things that I want to do, then everything I want to accomplish is still very much on the table.”

“When I win against Isaac Cruz, I want the rematch with [Gervonta] Davis because I wasn’t comfortable with the way that fight unfolded. Thank God, I was able to withstand everything and get to the finish against Gamboa, but I felt the way that fight went wasn’t what I wanted at all.

“So, I need to face him again, and I need to show everybody that I can beat him. To be clear, why I felt uncomfortable is because my Achilles heel was shattered. Imagine having to go eleven rounds having like that.

“So, I want to fight him when I’m healthy. If I can be healthy and feel 100%, that fight is winnable.”

Pitbull Cruz: “First things first, I’ve got to win this fight. When I win this fight, then bring in anybody that you want. Lomachenko, Haney, Davis, anybody. Bring them on, I’m going to be ready for any of them.”

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