PBC on Prime Video results, highlights: Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz batters Rolando Romero to earn WBA title

Rolando “Rolly” Romero entered his bout with Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz on Saturday night viewed by many as the weakest world champion in boxing. Cruz took advantage of Romero’s technical deficiencies to score a TKO in Round 8 of their bout on the undercard of Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora to win the WBA junior welterweight championship.

It didn’t take long for Cruz to break through the defense of Romero, cracking with a heavy left hook to the temple in the opening round that sent Romero stumbling around the ring on rubber legs. Somehow, Romero managed to not only survive the frame but manage to avoid a knockdown.

Cruz continued to navigate his height disadvantage by slipping inside Romero’s looping shots to score with power punches to both the head and body. When Romero managed to land punches, he was quickly met by hard counters from Cruz, who refused to be kept on the outside of Romero’s reach.

Romero attempted to stifle Cruz’s constant forward momentum by circling around the perimeter of the ring as well as holding when Cruz effectively closed the distance. That approach cost Romero in Round 5, when his repeated holding led to a point deduction after multiple warnings.

Romero was again badly hurt in the seventh round. Again, he managed to survive the round and remain on his feet, but it was clear that the fight was quickly getting away from him because he could not hurt Cruz, nor could he keep the shorter man at bay.

Cruz did not stop the onslaught in the following round. After the ringside physician had given Romero a check and said the fight was very close to over, Cruz continued to pour on the attack and after a big flurry took Romero’s legs again, the referee jumped in to stop the fight at the 0:56 mark of Round 8.

“I’m very happy and humbled to win this title for my family and for Mexico,” Cruz said after the win. “I was prepared for this. I wasn’t here to just fight. I was here to terminate him…I did my talking right here in the ring. And I did this not just for me, but for everybody that is here at T-Mobile Arena. There’s going to be a Mexican champ at 140 pounds for a long time.”

Cruz has been seeking a rematch with Gervonta “Tank” Davis after losing a competitive fight in December 2021. With a victory that cements Cruz as a world champion for the first time in his career, that dream rematch is closer than ever.

Romero was making the first defense of his title, which he won in controversial fashion after being knocked down by Ismael Barroso in May 2023 before a very fast referee stoppage in Round 9 of the fight. That fight came one bout after being knocked out by Gervonta Davis in their highly-anticipated 2022 bout.

“I am not here just to be a dangerous fighter,” Cruz said. “I now have a title that is backing me up. So anybody that is available, I’ll be ready.”

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