Isaac Cruz offered $1m to fight Ryan Garcia after Gamboa stoppage

Isaac Cruz 2022 Ryan Garcia

Amanda Westcott

Isaac Cruz received a $1 million offer to fight Ryan Garcia immediately after his victory over Yuriorkis Gamboa on Saturday night.

The lightweight contender nicknamed “Pitbull” proved his impressive performance against three-division champion Gervonta Davis wasn’t a fluke.

In a dominant, knockdown-filled performance, Cruz dropped the proud former unified featherweight champion, Gamboa, four times en route to a dominant fifth-round stoppage of Gamboa in the co-main event.

A monster left-right hand combination from Cruz sent Gamboa reeling into the ropes. It caused the referee to wave the bout off at 1:32 of the round of the scheduled 10-round lightweight bout.

Cruz threw 36 power punches per round, landing an average of 11 per round.

“I’m here to defeat and dethrone anyone that gets in my way while putting on a show for the fans,” Cruz said. “I wanted to send a clear message to the division that I’m here to be a world champion no matter what.

“Mexico, just wait until we arrive. We have something special planned for you when we come back to celebrate.”

Cruz (23-2-1, 16 knockouts) hurt Gamboa with a big left hook early in the first round.

Gamboa stumbled back against the ropes, his balance off, legs wobbly, and held on to survive the remainder of the round.

Cruz dropped Gamboa (30-5, 18 knockouts) with a right-left combo with seconds left in the second round that buckled Gamboa’s legs and caused him to touch the canvas.

Cruz jumped him to start the third, knocking him down seconds into the frame with a left hook. But again, Gamboa danced his way out of trouble to make it to the fourth.

In the fourth, Cruz dropped Gamboa again with a left hand toward the end of the round.

RYAN GARCIA

Afterward, Oscar De La Hoya made the public offer for a clash with Ryan Garcia.

Isaac Cruz
Amanda Westcott

VALENZUELA

José Valenzuela (12-0, 8 knockouts) made a startling statement about his punching power and future in the lightweight division in his bout with former champion Francisco Vargas.

Valenzuela landed a looping left hand that sent Vargas crashing to the canvas, prompting the referee to stop the scheduled 10-round lightweight bout at 1:25 of the first round in Saturday’s second pay-per-view bout.

A stablemate of unbeaten two-time world champion David Benavidez, Valenzuela, 22, stepped back to avoid the 37-year-old Vargas’ jab and launched forward with a windup left that landed clean.

Vargas (27-4-2, 19 KOs), who won a 130-pound title in 2015, dropped his second straight, while Valenzuela has now stopped seven of his last eight opponents.

“I worked hard for this and stayed calm, and I stayed patient and went for it when I saw the opening,” said Valenzuela, who referenced the support of Benavidez, standing in the ring next to him.

“Working alongside this guy right here, David Benavidez, he has shown me a lot of things in and out.

“I look to see what he does and what he goes through. He tells me to be patient, and that’s what I did.

“I was expecting (Vargas) to get up, but when I took a look back, I knew. It was a good knockout.”

CODY CROWLEY

Canada’s Cody Crowley remained undefeated with a tough, punishing unanimous decision victory against veteran contender Josesito López in a 10-round contest of all-action welterweights that kicked off the PPV telecast.

The scores were 98-91, 98-91, and 99-90 for Crowley.

Crowley (21-0, 9 KOs) sent Lopez to the canvas with a cuffing right hand that seemed to graze the back of Lopez’s head and was deemed a knockdown by the referee.

Though Lopez (38-9, 21 KOs) wasn’t hurt in that sequence, he was wobbled throughout by heavy shots, his left eye nearly shut, and his legs unsteady in the later rounds.

Still, as he has done against Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, Andre Berto, and Victor Ortiz, the “Riverside Rocky” soldiered on, refusing to let his corner stop the fight even though he was offering little resistance.

Crowley, who, according to CompuBox, landed 41% of his power punches and 53 of 440 jabs, was back in action following a sterling SHOWTIME debut in December 2021 when he topped previously unbeaten Kudratillo Abdukakhorov by unanimous decision.

“I want to bring a world title back to Canada,” Crowley said. “Canada supports so much. You see what happens when the Raptors win a championship.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs hardly make it to the playoffs, and they sell out every single game.

“Canada just needs a horse to ride behind, and I’m that horse. I guarantee we’ll sell out every arena when you bring Cody Crowley.”

World Boxing News has had over one billion views since its inception in 2010. Follow us on social media @worldboxingnews.