LAS VEGAS – Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz didn’t need his interpreter to understand what 140-pound titleholder Rolando “Rolly” Romero said about him on stage during a pre-fight news conference this week.

Romero, wearing the WBA belt around his waist and a mocking figurine of a chihuahua on a gold chain around his neck, predicted Cruz would lose his title shot by rushing forward because he’s “stupid,” and find himself decked by a Romero power punch.

Cruz considered the comment and opted not to verbally retaliate.

“I don’t give a shit,” a steel-faced Cruz told Boxing Scene moments later. “Whatever crap and trash he wants to talk, that’s up to him. I’m going to talk inside the ring.”

If Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) knew the extent of Cruz’s boxing knowledge, such a phrase would have never been uttered.

That’s because Cruz, 25, is a third-generation professional boxer whose family is in its seventh decade of seeking an opportunity like the one Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) has before him Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.

Isaac’s grandfather, Memo Cruz, first stepped in a professional boxing ring in 1966, and although his career lasted all of 10 fights – closing with back-to-back knockout losses – he was game enough to defeat eventual welterweight world champion Pipino Cuevas in a 10-round bout that went to the scorecards in Mexico City in 1973.

Isaac’s father, Isaac Cruz Sr., is his trainer. But before he coached, he boxed, compiling a proud 16-10 career with 14 knockout victories.

Cruz Sr. once fought future two-division champion Vernon Forrest, and had designs on the same 140-pound belt his son chases now – before a 1998 TKO loss to Forrest started a stretch of three consecutive defeats for the elder Cruz. In June 2000, when Pitbull was just a 2-year-old, Cruz Sr. retired following a loss to Ray Oliviera, the title dream vanquished.

The son carries his ancestor’s ambitions – and their lessons.

“It’s a big part of it,” Cruz Jr. said. “[Fighting for the title is] something that doesn’t come along very often, so I’ve got to take advantage of it. Because if I don’t take the most advantage of this opportunity, I’m going to regret it.”

He heard those regrets for years, intent to reach the glory that escaped his family in former times, when not all Mexican boxing talent was noticed. Sean Gibbons, Pitbull’s connected manager, has helped make sure the mistakes of overlooking the forefathers were not repeated with the son.

To fulfill what his father and grandfather had hoped would be their own destiny, envisioning what it would be like to celebrate with them, has provided a constant inspiration for the younger Cruz.

“I know how fortunate I am to have my Papa and Abuelo around,” he said. “Few fighters have that privilege. I want to honor that and celebrate that because I know it’s a select group of champions who have the honor to stand as a champion and make their dreams come true.”

Cruz Sr.’s eyes watered as he considered the investment these three generations have invested in boxing.

“What a great source of pride and complete satisfaction it would be to see my kid – [my father’s] grandson! – achieve what we couldn’t in our entire boxing lives,” Cruz Sr. said. “It fills us with pride that he is here, and we can’t wait to celebrate with him Saturday night.”

On many occasions, Cruz Sr. and Memo Cruz have shared their insights on the sport with their son. The lessons of how to box. How to land the knockout punch. Resilience in the ring. The persistence required in life. The pride of becoming a world champion from Mexico.

All of it is required knowledge in that chase for the strap.

“Look, we are proud of him regardless, but he deserves this,” Cruz Sr. said. “The family deserves this. And we are 100 percent certain that he’s going to achieve it.”

Cruz Jr. fell short in his first title shot when he was a short-notice replacement for Romero to fight Gervonta Davis. Afforded just four weeks of preparation, Pitbull lost a narrow unanimous decision.

Now, Cruz Jr. matches his aggressive, brutal-punching style against a champion better known for his verbal skills than his boxing acumen. And with his father by his side and his grandfather watching from his home in Mexico City, Cruz Jr. will carry those decades of boxing devotion into the ring, where he’ll expectedly lean on all that institutional knowledge.

“It’s a motivation that complements all of the work that I’ve put in for four months,” Cruz Jr. said. “That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make that happen.”

Only it’s not just four months of training camp that have readied him for this.

It’s inheriting the aspirations of the 60-year-old family business.