LAS VEGAS – Isaac Cruz will engage with Giovanni Cabrera as much as possible when they fight Saturday night.

The lightweight contender was in no mood Thursday, though, to go back and forth with his unbeaten opponent during the final press conference for their 12-round encounter on the Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford undercard. A confident Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) predicted Cruz will “eat a lotta punches” in a WBA elimination match Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) is consistently listed as at least a 7-1 favorite to win, but the fighter nicknamed “Pitbull” didn’t bite.

“I have absolutely nothing to say to you,” Cruz said, according to his translator. “You know why? Because I’m just gonna come out on Saturday and I’m gonna prove my worth. And then I’m gonna show why I’m worth a rematch with Gervonta Davis.”

Cruz continually has mentioned earning a second shot at the undefeated Davis throughout the promotion of his fight with Cabrera. Baltimore’s Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) is expected to compete again before the end of 2023, but one of boxing’s biggest stars hasn’t chosen an opponent for his return to the ring.

The 25-year-old Cruz knows he needs another impressive performance to generate interest in a rematch with Davis.

The rugged pressure fighter is the only opponent who has taken Davis the distance in the left-handed knockout artist’s past 20 fights. Davis defeated the Mexico City native on all three scorecards (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) in December 2021 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, but Cruz provided plenty of resistance in their fight that night.

“I’m gonna come here to do my job and I’m gonna send a clear message,” Cruz said. “I’m not overrated. I am worth every penny. And I am here to just show everybody what I can do inside the ring.”

Davis holds the WBA’s secondary lightweight title. Cruz is ranked fifth among the WBA’s lightweight contenders, four spots atop the ninth-rated Cabrera.

Cruz is also rated third by the WBC and fifth by both the IBF and WBO. Cabrera is ranked 11th by the WBO and 13th by the IBF, but he is not listed in the top 15 by the WBC.

The 29-year-old Cabrera should provide a vastly different challenge for Cruz than Davis. The Chicago-based Seattle native is southpaw who will attempt to win on points by out-thinking and out-maneuvering Cruz.

The shorter, stout Cruz figures to be the toughest opponent of Cabrera’s career, yet the seven-year pro promised that he is more than ready for this step up on a huge stage.

“I’m 21-0 for a reason,” Cabrera said. “Everybody that I’ve fought has tried to take my head off and I’ve picked every, single one of them apart.”

Cruz-Cabrera will be the co-feature of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT; $84.99). Both boxers will end lengthy layoffs in this fight.

Cruz hasn’t fought since last September 4, when he viciously knocked out countryman Eduardo Ramirez (27-3-3, 12 KOs, 1 NC) in the second round of a scheduled 12-rounder on the Andy Ruiz-Luis Ortiz undercard at Arena in Los Angeles. Cabrera hasn’t fought in over a year, not since he beat Gabriel Flores Jr. (22-2, 8 KOs) unanimously in a 10-rounder last July 23 at Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minnesota.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.