Isaac Cruz had barely five weeks to prepare for the biggest moment of his career to date.
The top-rated lightweight contender came up just short in a hard-fought battle with secondary WBA lightweight titlist Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis last December at Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) in Los Angeles. Cruz stepped in for Rolando Romero in short notice, dropping a twelve-round decision but fighting well enough to end Davis’ 16-fight knockout streak.
It was a shining example of a fighter’s stock rising in defeat, though the Mexico City native would love nothing more than to walk away with a win should such a fight make its way back around.
“The fight against ‘Tank’ Davis absolutely motivated me,” Cruz told BoxingScene.com and other reporters during a recent virtual press conference. “My goal is to be able to face him once again.
“How do I do that? It’s very simple. Take down every single opponent I have in front of me.”
Cruz (23-2-1, 16KOs) ended an eleven-fight win streak in narrowly losing to Davis (27-0, 25KOs) but made his way back into the win column in his most recent outing. The 24-year-old slugger overwhelmed former featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa in a fifth-round stoppage this past April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Next up for the 24-year-old slugger is a scheduled 12-round lightweight clash with countryman Eduardo Ramirez (27-2-3, 12KOs). The fight serves as the chief support of a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View on September 4 back at Crypto.com Arena. A win will keep Cruz high among the most desirable options for any lightweight still waiting out a world title shot—at least until he works his way back on such a stage.
“Eduardo Ramirez is my next opponent. I don’t overlook anyone,” insisted Cruz. “But my plan is to win this fight and bring a world title to Mexico City.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox