'Mexican Mike Tyson' Isaac Cruz Becomes Social Media Sensation

Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz became a torrid social media sensation, thanks to his Saturday night destruction of Rolando “Rolly” Romero, which earned him a junior middleweight belt.

Cruz’s Instagram account gained a whopping 250,000 followers to breeze past the 1 million mark, and the highlights from his eighth-round stoppage became the top-trending video on YouTube.

“He’s the most exciting fighter from Mexico,” Cruz’s manager, Sean Gibbons, told Boxing Scene on Tuesday, quite a statement considering the presence of a certain four-division and undisputed super middleweight champion named Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

“I’ve never seen a kid catch fire so fast. There was a kindle after he fought Gervonta [Davis in 2021]. Now, it’s a full-blown wildfire.”

Following in the footsteps of his professional-boxer grandfather, Memo Cruz, and his father, Isaac Sr., Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) unleashed a relentless attack on then-champion Romero, badly wobbling him in the early going, leaving him a tentative foe through the early rounds before unleashing a finishing barrage that brought the T-Mobile Arena masses to their feet.

“There’s no feeling-out process with ‘Pitbull,’ and people love that kind of excitement,” Gibbons said. “That’s why matchmaking matters: Do I want to see Shakur Stevenson try to run and out-box him over 12 rounds, or do I want a guy who stands in there and says, ‘Let’s go mano-a-mano and the first who’s finished loses?’”

Cruz has said previously he longs for a rematch with the unbeaten Davis, who edged him on the scorecards (115-113 twice and 116-112) when Cruz served as a replacement opponent on short notice.

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) is headed to a June 15 Premier Boxing Champions on Amazon Prime Video pay-per-view main event versus unbeaten Frank Martin.

Gibbons said he’s willing to wait for that outcome and a Davis negotiation, but noted there’s a chance another opportunity may emerge before that.

“And if we don’t have Gervonta locked in 100 percent … [Cruz] needs to be in the ring,” Gibbons said. “September 14 is a possibility. I know that’s Canelo’s date, but let’s see what happens in his [May 4 Jaime] Munguia fight. I could take ‘Pitbull’anywhere in L.A. or Vegas, and he’d blow the roof off.”

Gibbons said he would love for Cruz to fight three times this year.

“The fight fans have spoken and that [Davis-Cruz II] is the fight they want,” Gibbons said. “If Gervonta wants it, he can come get this smoke. Let’s be real: Tank played tag with Rolly before catching him [in the sixth]. ‘Pitbull’ Cruz took the fight right to him like his idol Mike Tyson does, and he showed you who the most exciting fighter at 140 pounds is.

“We’ve set the table. Now we just need ‘Tank’ to come and eat.”

Cruz, 25, is promoted by Manny Pacquiao, who said in a Manila Bulletin story that he is honored to help advance his career.

“[Cruz] is a testament of a true, hard-working warrior,” Pacquiao said. “His boxing skills, power and speed are honed by years of his sacrifice in training and learning.”

Gibbons told the Manila newspaper that Pacquiao is especially fond of Cruz because he’s a family man who doesn’t smoke or drink and reminds him of the legendary ancestors of Mexican champions who Pacquiao fought during his career: Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

“It doesn’t get any hotter than the attention ‘Pitbull’s getting right now,” Gibbons said. “People have forgot Devin Haney’s fighting Ryan Garcia [on April 20]. Why? Because what do fight fans really want? A Mexican Mike Tyson who says, ‘Let’s meet in the center of the ring like we’re fighting at The Forum.’ He’s a must-watch warrior.”