By Brian Webber: Tonight’s Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford undercard has two excellent fights, with lightweight contender Isaac Cruz vs. Giovanni Cabrera for the WBC and WBA 135-lb title eliminator & former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire facing Alexandro Santiago in a fight with the vacant WBC bantamweight belt at stake.
For the most part, the undercard is a disappointment, as it’s lacking in compelling fights once you get past the televised portion of the card with the Cruz-Cabrera & Donaire-Santiago fights, but unfortunately, this is common for mega-fights.
We saw the same thing with Floyd Mayweather Jr’ fights against Conor McGregor & Manny Pacquiao. The undercards for those mega-fights were seemingly thrown together without a care.
Other undercard fights
Yoenis Tellez vs. Sergio Garcia
Steven Nelson vs. Rowdy Montgomery
Jose Salas Reyes vs. Aston Palicte
Jabin Chollet vs. Michael Portales
Justin Viloria vs. Pedro Borgaro
Demler Zamora vs. Nikolai Buzolin
Kevin Ventura vs. DeShawn Prathe
Isaac Cruz vs. Giovanni Cabrera
In an interesting fight, Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) can potentially get his badly-desired rematch with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis with a victory over the unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) in their 12-round bout for the vacant WBC Silver 135-lb title in chief support bout.
This is a risky fight for Pitbull Cruz, as Cabera has excellent boxing skills and is capable of outboxing. Cabrera pulled off a big upset last year, defeating former blue-chip amateur prospect Gabriel Flores Jr by a one-sided ten-round unanimous decision in his own hometown of Stockton, California.
The 25-year-old Cruz has been like a determined Pitbull with his single-minded focus on getting a well-paying rematch with Tank Davis after his close twelve-round unanimous decision to him two years ago in December 2021.
Cruz has fought twice since then, defeating former featherweight world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa and Eduardo Ramirez in early knockouts. Where ‘Pitbull’ Cruz has taken his fair share of criticism from the boxing public for turning down fights against Ryan Garcia & Shakur Stevenson.
It’s believed that Cruz turned down those fights because he wants to make sure he gets the rematch with Tank Davis, which would make him a lot of money once again. The Mexico native Cruz got already gotten a taste of the life-changing green in his first fight with Tank, and now he’d like another chance to swim in the loot with a second fight.
You can’t blame Pitbull Cruz for avoiding risky fights to ensure he gets the rematch with Tank Davis because, with the money he makes from the rematch, he could retire and live the remainder of his life in Mexico without needing to work like ordinary people.
Cruz vs. Cabrera prediction
Cabrera will start fast and give Pitbull Cruz fits in the first three rounds with his boxing ability. However, Cruz’s pressure will soon start getting to Cabrera, wearing him down, weakening him gradually.
By the eighth round, Caberaa will be a punching bag for Cruz and will get taken out with a massive hook to the head. Prediction: Isaac Cruz stops Giovanni Cabrera in the eighth round.
Spence-Crawford event will be shown live on Showtime PPV for $84.99 in the United States and TNT Sport pay-per-view in the UK for £19.95.
Nonito Donaire vs. Alexandro Santiago
Former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) will be trying to bounce back from a knockout loss to Naoyaa Inoue when he takes on Alexandro Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC bantamweight that was recently vacated by the Japanese star.
Donaire, 40, looked his age in his second round knockout loss to ‘Monster’ Inoue thirteen months ago in June 2022, and you got to think that the year that he’d been out of the ring won’t have helped him get any younger.
The good news is Donaire is fighting a beatable guy in #3 WBC ranked Santiago, who has a recent loss to Gary Antonio Russell in 2021. Still, the youth of the 27-year-old Santiago could be a problem for Donaire if his punch resistance has deteriorated from his knockout loss to Inoue.
Donaire says his goal is to become an undisputed champion at 118 and then move down to super flyweight  to become a five-division world champion.
It sounds like a hopeless goal for Donire because it’s going to take a long, long time for him to gather all those belts at 118, and he doesn’t have enough time due to his advanced age to accomplish that goal.
Donaire vs. Santiago prediction
Nonito’s still formidable punching power should be enough for him to steamroll Santiago in this fight without any problems.
Santiago will be much easier for Donaire to hit with his left hook smash than Inoue was in their last fight, so it shouldn’t be a problem for Nonito to win this one. Prediction: Donaire by fifth-round knockout over Santiago.
Giovanni Cabrera “hungrier” than Isaac Cruz
“It’s a great day for boxing. Two Mexican warriors are putting it all on the line. Let’s go. We’re fighting for the #1 spot in the world,” said Giovanni Cabrera to Fighthype about his 12-round co-feature fight against Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz this Saturday night.
“This is for everything. Everyone is going to know. This is it. I’m going to cement my family name in history. Let’s go. I’m hungrier than he is, man.”
“One of my nicknames used to be the Mexican Mike Tyson, so I have to live up to that,” said Isaac Cruz to Fight Hub TV.
“For me, it’s becoming undisputed champion [at bantamweight] and then coming down to 115 to be legitimate five times. That’s the goal,” said Donaire to Fight Hub TV on what his goal is after he fights Santiago this Saturday night for the vacant WBC 118-lb title.
“That’s the thing. People have never understood that I’m a small guy. I’m tall, but my bone structure is small. I’ve always been skinny. I started professionally at 105, but then nobody wanted to fight me. There was no one to fight.
“I moved up to 112, 115, 118 to 122, and then I dropped back down for the Darchinyan fight, but I’ve always been a smaller guy. So with me, I don’t have any problem making the weight. Even here at 118, I don’t have any problem at all.
“The last time I weighed, I was 117, 116. I had to drink some water to get to 117. So 115 wouldn’t be a big problem for me,” said Donaire.