Isaac Cruz made another strong statement.
The Mexican slugger stopped countryman Eduardo Ramirez at 2:27 of the second round of a scheduled 10-round lightweight bout on the Andy Ruiz Jr.-Luis Ortiz card Sunday in Los Angeles.
Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) had some trouble cornering an elusive Ramirez (27-3-3, 12 KOs) in a relatively uneventful opening round.
However, that changed in an instant midway through Round 2, when Cruz put his countryman down and hurt him badly with a perfect left hook to the chin.
The worst was yet to come for Ramirez, as Cruz attacked his wounded prey viciously until a three-punch combination put him on his pants again.
That was enough for referee Jack Reiss, who didn’t hesitate to stop the fight to save Ramirez from further punishment.
Afterward, Cruz, a top contender, called out Gervonta Davis, who narrowly outpointed him last December. That fight isn’t likely to happen. However, performances like the one Cruz turned in Sunday keep him in thick of championship hunt.