Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz Reflects on Victory over Rolando Romero

By Jamie Eskdale - 04/01/2024 - Comments

Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz says he was surprised at WBA light welterweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero’s decision not to attempt to knock him out like he’d been talking about in their fight last Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) states that Rolly (15-2, 13 KOs) did the opposite of everything that he’d said he was going to do and focused instead on trying to counter him in their co-feature contest on the Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora card at the T-Mobile Arena in La Vegas.

Rolly’s game plan proved ineffective, as Pitbull Cruz dominated him every round before knocking him out in the eighth round when referee Thomas Taylor called a halt at the 0:56 mark.

It’s unclear if Rolly had a rematch clause in the contract for the fight because this was a voluntary defense. As one-sided as this contest was, it wouldn’t be in Rolly’s best interest to mix it up with Cruz again, and it wouldn’t be profitable for the promoters to put these two fighters back in.

Rolly’s Unexpected Strategy

“I was waiting for him to come forward like he said, trying to knock me out. He did everything opposite. Surprisingly, he was just countering the whole time,” said Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz to Fight Hub TV, discussing his fight last Saturday night with Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.

It’s believed that Rolly threw his game plan out the window after Cruz hurt him in the first round. From that point on, it was a full-scale rout, with Rolly taking shots from every angle, and he was helpless to match Cruz’s superior firepower.

“He didn’t know how to respond to my shots. We knew we couldn’t leave it in the hands of the judges also because they could have robbed us. We worked round by round to beat him, and that was until we stopped him in the eighth,” Cruz continued about his fight with Rolly.

“That’s incredible. That’s impossible to give him the fight, but we knew anything could happen here in Las Vegas,” said Pitbull, reacting to being told that one of the judges had Rolly ahead 67-66 at the time of the stoppage.

After Rolly’s last fight against Ismael Barroso, it’s not surprising that Cruz was mistrustful of the officiating for his fight. It wouldn’t have been good for him to count on the judges to get the win.

Assessing Romero’s Power

“With all the adrenaline and anger I had from the trash talk, I didn’t feel anything. I was focused on hitting him and taking his belt away,” said Cruz when asked if Rolly was a strong puncher.

Rolly landed a big right hand on Cruz a fraction of a second before being countered by a huge left hook in the first round that shook him up. That right hand from Rolly would have stopped a lot of fighters, but Cruz took it well and had Romero wobbling with his left counter.

“It was different due to the weight, but they were very similar,” said Pitbull Cruz when asked what the difference in power between Rolly and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis from his fight against him in 2021.

“I think Gervonta Davis was a little stronger. I felt his punch his punch more,” said Cruz.

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