Freddie Roach feels Isaac Cruz, in search of Gervonta Davis rematch, is looking passed Giovanni Cabrera

Wild Card boss Freddie Roach admits he has his hands full with Giovanni Cabrera ahead of the unbeaten Chicago man’s bout with Isaac Cruz on Saturday. 

“He’s a really, really hard guy to read,” Roach said of his own fighter. “He’s very awkward and he’s very difficult to figure out. He’s one of those guys. Once he gets the ball rolling, the guy’s got knockout power, his straight left hand is his biggest power shot. He’s clever.”

‘Pitbull’ Cruz has talked this week of beating Cabrera and landing a rematch with Tank Davis, who holds a decision win over him from 2021.

Roach feels Cruz is being presumptuous looking ahead and that they are taking Cabrera, 21-0 (7), too lightly.

“Yes, I do feel that,” Roach went on. “The thing is, if he comes out and starts throwing those hooks and so forth because he’s shorter and he’s a little bit wider, I think he’s too big with those shots and that’s where my gameplan is to beat him down the middle; right down the middle, to box him straight down the middle and knock him out somewhere along the way.”

Because Roach is confident Cabrera has the power to make a difference, even though Cruz has not been stopped in his 24-2-1 career. 

“Isaac is a short, strong guy,” Roach continued. “He’s got a muscular stomach so that’s the first place we’re looking to go. Kill the body and the head will fall. We’ll see what he’s made of. I know my guy is a good boxer and has a good chin, he’s very hard to figure out. When people have trouble trying to figure out what you’re going to do next, that’s what you want.”

But Roach admits even he sometimes struggles to know what Cabrera will do next.

“[It’s] Very difficult,” he smiled. “You can’t tell him to do something all fighters do. Not him. He can fight lefty, righty, he switches, throws straights lefts, straight right hands, he has knockout power with either hand, he hits hard and sometimes he won’t hit hard though. 

“Sometimes he’ll play with you a little bit, and then he’ll let a big shot go, so he’s very hard to figure out. He really is.”

For his part, Cabrera seems to know what he hopes will happen on Saturday. He thinks the typically violent Cruz comes out smoking, perhaps starts to tire or starts to leave himself open, and then Cabrera will start to break him down.

“I’m 21-0 for a reason,” Cabrera said. “Everyone I’ve fought has tried to take my head off and I’ve picked every single one of them apart. No disrespect, he [Cruz]’s made it this far, and he’s had some great fights against some good opponents, but those opponents were not really good at all. I believe I’ve earned my spot here.”