By Adam Baskin: Former lightweight world title challenger Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz says he views this Saturday’s fight between Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Hector Luis Garcia as a “50-50” type of affair where either guy can win.
Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) came close to defeating Tank Davis (27-0, 25 KOs) in their fight two years ago in December 2021, and he wasn’t impressed with the injury excuse that he gave after the fight. Tank narrowly won by the scores 115–113, 115–113, and 116–112.
Pitbull Cruz notes that Hector Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs) punches well to the body, and he feels that he needs to alternate shots to the midsection of Gervonta with punches to the head to get the victory.
“Inside the ring, it’s all business for me,” said Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz to PBC Podcast. “It’s a 50-50 fight in my eyes,” said Cruz about this Saturday’s match between Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Hector Luis Garcia on Showtime PPV.
“Hector Garcia is having an unbelievable time now where he’s steamrolling his opponents and he’s going to knock anybody out that stands in his way. Gervonta is going to be on his back foot, trying to counter Hector’s aggressiveness. So it’s going to be a really good fight.
“Hector attacks the body really well, so that’s what I think he has to do. Also, he only needs to connect with his hook one time. Have it land one-time flush and that could be the difference in the fight.
“Alternate between attacking the body and going up to the head and also attacking that. So just be relentless. That will be the key for him,” said Pitbull Cruz about his keys to success for Hector Garcia.
“On the one side, you have the queen of social media, which is Ryan Garcia, and on the other hand, you have Gervonta. We all know what he’s all about. In my eyes, in that fight, it’ll be all about who gets to land that first big punch. That would be the biggest key in that fight.
“I have four fighters in mind. First of all, I would like to fight Gervonta or Haney. Then I would like to face off with Shakur Stevenson, and to top it off, why not go up against Lomachenko,” said Isaac Cruz, picking the four fighters he’d like to face.
“The belt is something I’ve craved ever since I was little. That’s the dream, but I’m also aware of the quality of the opponent, and how hard it is to overcome the challenge in order to obtain that belt is what gives you the credibility. It makes the achievement even bigger.
“I think I’m going to be back in the ring in late March or early April. I haven’t talked to Sean Gibbons or my team yet, but trust me; you’re going to get that information soon enough as far as who my opponent will be.
“I’m comfortable with two fights a year, but if I have the chance to fight three or four times, that’s fantastic. Bring it on. But only as long as those fights that come my way are high-quality fights. I don’t want to fight just to fight.
“I’m absolutely ready to take on the passing of the torch and representing Mexico on the world stage. I’m capable of making everybody proud,” said Pitbull Cruz when asked if he feels he can take over as Mexico’s biggest star now that Canelo Alvarez and Juan Francisco Estrada, two of the biggest stars in Mexico, are nearing retirement.
“I’ve never been the type of fighter that lets the fight come to him. I go to the fight, and I’ve always been the type of fighter that goes out and gives his best from the very first second of the first round until the bell rings in the final seconds.
“There have been fighters that I wanted to emulate. Tyson, Marquez, Sanchez, have been role models for me, and Pacquiao as well. Those four are the ones that I looked up to when I was coming up.
“My life changed after that fight,” said Pitbull Cruz about his fight with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in December 2021. “Before, Team Cruz and I thought it was a longer-term play to fight Gervonta Tank Davis.
“When we got the opportunity, and they said, ‘Here is Gervonta Davis, take it or leave it,’ we took it. That fight and the way we fought changed everything for me. One thing I’ve noticed is the fans are closer to me now. The fans all over the world have another Mexican fighter to look up to.
“It wasn’t a crushing loss that took me down. It was the complete opposite. It was a loss that felt like a victory in a way because I didn’t get knocked out. I gave everything that Gervonta could handle, especially in the first five rounds that I could go toe-to-toe with him.
“That changed the way the boxing world looked at me and how Gervonta was looked at, too, because he couldn’t manhandle me. So I was really pleased with the way things turned out because, in the end, I lost, but I was pleased with the way I fought and the way I handled everything.
“It didn’t bother me,” said Pitbull Cruz when asked if it bothered him that Tank Davis blamed his poor performance against him on an injured hand. “It’s his prerogative to make excuses to shield himself from the reality of what that fight was.
“I also had my knuckles bruised in that fight, but I didn’t make excuses. I made sure I came out even stronger and learn valuable lessons from this fight, but I would never pull an excuse like that for the outcome of that fight,” said Pitbull Cruz about his match with Tank Davis.
“He wants to talk on social media, that’s fine by me, but I’d be more than up for the challenge when the rematch comes my way. Let him name the day and time, I’ll be more than ready. I’m no cannon fodder.
“It’s one thing to talk s**t on social media, but it’s another thing to step foot into the ring and make that a reality. Let’s see if he’s up to it. I’m more than up to whenever he wants