Isaac Cruz cruises to a decision win over Giovanni Cabrera; fails to justify Gervonta Davis rematch

LAS VEGAS — Isaac Cruz landed the punch of the fight in the seventh round, got deducted a point for using his head in the eighth, and scored a comfortable decision win over Giovanni Cabrera.

It all went down during a Premier Boxing Champions event Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which was broadcast as a pay-per-view on Showtime Sports in the US.

Cruz is a competitor who has typically lived up to his Pitbull nickname as he has, previously, fought like he has that dawg in him.

That dog really needed to bark and bite in the co-main of the Spence-Crawford fight night to justify the speculation that he could be in line to score a rematch against burgeoning mega star Gervonta Davis.

However, in the opening three rounds, Cruz failed to justify that much hype as he fought to a lower level than the lightweight elite, failed to cut the ring off, and allowed Cabrera to confound with his lateral movement.

His performance even prompted the undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney to post on X: “Cruz is ass.”

That is not to say Cruz had his moments. His bullying, come-forward style — one in which he pelted Cabrera with piercing shots to the body and buckling blows to the head — ensured he kept his opponent honest in certain rounds of the fight.

But his position in a show of this magnitude warranted a big performance and, considering he went the distance in a fight in which he failed to look as solid as he perhaps could, that big performance was lacking when it arguably mattered most.

Cabrera, meanwhile, showed punch resistance and a sturdy chin to thwart the big shots Cruz attempted to drop him with, while evading some of the attacks in the early — and even the late — parts of the fight.

Though Cruz appeared comfortable in his win, the three ringside judges scored a fight that was much closer, awarding only a split decision win in his favor thanks to scores of 115-112 and 114-113 to Cruz, and 114-113 to Cabrera.

Victory advanced Cruz’s pro record to 25 wins (17 knockouts) against two draws and one loss.

On whether he thought the fight was as close as the split decision:

“I don’t feel like connected with any punches, but they are the judges, and they made the decision.”