By Miguel Maravilla at ringside
In a WBC and WBA lightweight title eliminator, Mexico City’s hard hitting WBC #3, WBA #5, IBF #5, WBO #5 Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) scored a twelve round split decision over previously undefeated WBA #9, IBF #11, WBO #11 Giovanni Cabrera (21-1, 7 KOs) of Seattle in the Spence-Crawford co-main event on Saturday night at the sold out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cruz pressed the action and landed hard punches that Cabrera was able to take. Cruz was deducted a point in round eight for a headbutt. Scores were 114-113 for Cabrera, 114-113, 115-112 for Cruz.
It was a slow start for Cruz but he swung wildly attempting his way inside as Cabrera stood straight up and boxed. Pressuring in round two, Cruz went right after Cabrera as he continued to box and keep his distance. Attacking the body in round three, Cruz closed the distance as he ripped Cabrera who kept sticking and moving. Continue to box and stick the jab in the fourth, Cabrera kept his distance as Cruz continued to apply the pressure.
Cruz roughed up Cabrera in the fifth connecting with wild power shots and butting him in the process as referee Thomas Taylor issued a warning. The roughhouse tactics continued from Cruz in the fifth as he hit Cabrera with a low blow as the ref warned him for a low blow. In the sixth, Pitbull continued to make it a dog fight as applied the pressure and connected with wild shots. Cabrera appeared to have a decent round in the seventh as he was busy and kept Cruz off rhythm chasing away. The referee deducted a point from Cruz for once again headbutting Cabrera, shortly after Pitbull let a burst of wild punches to finish the round strong.
Holding his own through the course of nine rounds, Cabrera stood busy outworking Cruz who continued to be the hunter. Pitbull attacked with wild shots in the tenth as he connected Cabrera, who refused to go down and continued to fight. Late in the fight in the championship rounds, Cabrera kept busy but Cruz made it rough by throwing wild haymakers. The twelfth and final round saw Cabrera staying busy and confident with Cruz pressing and swinging wildly
In the end the judges scored the bout, 114-113 for Cabrera, 114-113 for Cruz, and the difference in the cards was 115-112 for Cruz