Rolly vs Pitbull Could Steal The Show on March 30

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Two of the game's most exciting sluggers will collide when Rolando "Rolly" Romero defends his WBA Super Lightweight Title against Isaac "Pitbull" Cruz Saturday, March 30, live from Las Vegas.

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Thurman vs. Tszyu & Rolly vs. Pitbull PREVIEW: March 30, 2024 | PBC on Prime Video

It presents one of those treasures boxing fans crave. They can almost hear the punches before the fighters even put on their gloves.

The marquee may have the Rolando “Rolly” Romero-Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz WBA Super Lightweight World Championship fight as the co-main event to the headlining Keith Thurman-Tim Tszyu headliner, but with their all-action, entertaining styles, Rolly-Pitbull could be the fight of the night Saturday, March 30, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in a Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view available on Prime Video (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) will be making the first defense of his WBA 140-pound World Title, while hard-hitting Mexican superstar Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) will be moving up to super lightweight.

“This is actually the biggest fight of my career,” admitted the 28-year-old Romero. “I was too big for lightweight when I faced (Gervonta “Tank”) Davis (in May 2022). I couldn’t make weight anymore and everything goes out the window when you go five, six rounds when you cut weight immensely like that. It happened. I do not want to take anything away from Gervonta, he was patient and I learned a lot from that fight. I’m blessed to have that opportunity and it was the biggest opportunity of my life, to that point.”

Romero said he learned more outside the ring. People who were once close to him fell away, and he says his fighting style was honed coming up in boxing by himself.

“Rolly” could use a defining fight. He was hoping that would come against boxing superstar Davis. Romero showed some poise in that fight. He looked for big counterpunch chances. He used a pawing jab to set up his potent right hand, or left hook, up until Davis caught him with an explosive left to the chin at the 38-second mark of the sixth round. Romero fell in a heap against the ropes and that spelled his first professional defeat.

In the 25-year-old Cruz, Romero is dealing with a shorter, come-forward fighter who is built more like a large human fist. Everything about the 5-foot-4 dynamo is muscle. Cruz is fighting to win his first world title.

“This is going to be a Mexican slugfest,” Romero promised. “Cruz is perfect for me. He is not afraid to come forward and not stop until he lands something. People do not appreciate me in boxing overall. That means my boxing ability, or anything. I am the fastest to get to where I am in boxing history. Look at where these guys started, five, six years old, and I started when I was 17. I said Cruz looks like a Chihuahua, but if you have seen him lately, he looks more like an English Bulldog.

“I don’t worry about his style. He’s not a hard target at all. He is there to be hit. He doesn’t get low, he is low. I will go in and we will hit each other. One for me, one for him, two for me, four for him. Three for him, two for me. He can’t take my power. I say that because I punch so hard.”

We are both not afraid of taking risks. Super Lightweight Contender - Isaac "Pitbull" Cruz

What you see is what you get from Cruz. There is no hyperbole about him. His personality is like his fighting style: straightforward and direct. He feels his pressure will overwhelm Romero. He feels Rolly will not be able to tolerate his power.

“We are both not afraid of taking risks,” Cruz said. “I can tell you that we are working on being very smart to minimize the damage I get, while inflicting as much damage as I can to my opponent. Rolly talks too much. He likes to go on social media too much. His big mouth will be shut when I face him. I could care less what he says or what he doesn’t say. I hope he can fight as well as he talks trash.

“I only focus on what I have to do and be as strong as possible to shut his mouth. The main thing this past year is making some adjustments to my team. I will prepare for all 12 rounds. I’m going into this fight to win. I could care less what he says about the Chihuahua stuff. What I will tell you is that on March 30, I can promise him, I am going to be a Chihuahua that Rolly will never forget for the rest of his career (laughs). I come from a humble upbringing and that is what fuels me.”

Cruz has been consistently entertaining. So has Romero. Both need a defining win. Cruz gave Davis his toughest fight as a pro when the two met in December 2021. Davis won by a close unanimous decision and Cruz has been calling for a rematch ever since. 

“Romero-Cruz is a fight I certainly want to see,” noted Hall of Fame boxing journalist Steve Farhood said. “This is a career-defining fight for Romero. Cruz has proven himself at the highest level. We know he is a world-class fighter. Cruz has to prove himself at this weight. Both have losses to Tank. Cruz gave Tank a lot better fight than Romero did. Romero will rely on his power. Cruz is a pressure fighter by necessity. Romero holds that possibility to land the kind of shot we think he is capable of doing. He just hasn’t done it against this level of competition.”

Highly respected trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards will be there on March 30 working the corner of middleweight Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis, who will be taking on undefeated middleweight Elijah Garcia in the headlining event on PBC on Prime Video (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT) before the start of the pay-per-view. Edwards, too, is looking forward to seeing Romero-Cruz. It’s a scrap that can be labeled “a fight fan’s fight.”

Cruz, Edwards stressed, will be difficult for Romero to hit because of his low profile. Cruz keeps his chin down, and his short, fast punches hardly allow opponents time to counter him. He rarely raises up during exchanges, which gave Tank Davis problems.

“Cruz does not give you a target,” Edwards pointed out. “I was impressed by how Rolly looked against Tank before he got caught. He is tough to box, because Rolly has an unpredictable rhythm with his lunges, and the unconventional way he throws punches. It took Tank time to figure him out. Rolly has some Marcos Maidana to his game. I would not define Rolly as a boxer-puncher. He is a big puncher with some unorthodox boxing ability. Rolly has a lot to prove here. We still don’t know how good he is. He won’t go in the ring to outbox you, and we certainly know Cruz will not. That’s what makes this a great fight.”

Just weeks away, you can almost hear the leather slapping skin.

For a closer look at Rolly vs Pitbull, check out our fight night page. 

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