When one superb boxer leaves the 135 pound division, another one gets ready to take his place. The superb Devin Haney has left the lightweight division in his rear-view mirror, “The Dream” now looking for the massive fights at 140 after his flawless winning performance against Regis Prograis on Saturday night. Andy Cruz may well have taken Haney’s place as the best lightweight in the world. Already, after just two pro fights.
Fighting on the San Francisco card, the Cuban sensation looked, well, sensational in halting Jovanni Straffon in the third round. Now 2-0(1), Cruz, who won all manner of titles at amateur level, including two Pan Am gold medals, and an Olympic gold, has got plenty of people very excited. Cruz is super-excited himself, about what he plans to do in the pro ranks….. about what he says he WILL do in the pro ranks.
28 year old Cruz says he is going to win “all of the belts,” and he says he is “going to be a legend.”
Many times before in this great sport of ours, we’ve heard fighters utter such bold words. But with Cruz, it might be safe going as far as to say it’s a foregone conclusion that he will do what he says he will do as far as winning multiple belts. Winning all of them might be a harder task, after all, it’s not merely down to a fighter’s talent when it comes to whether or not he can scoop up all the belts – it’s often down to politics and effective match making on the part of the fighter’s promoter. And as for becoming a legend, well, it’s out of the fighter’s hands when it comes to if he or she is worthy of that distinction. Often times, it’s what a fighter does outside of the ring that adds immensely to his, or her, being a legend. In this regard, we fans have a voice.
But Cruz is absolutely on his way to achieving both of his goals, and as far as the match making goes, Eddie Hearn has some big and exciting ideas for Cruz. Hearn, who is super-excited about Cruz and his amazing skills and ability, is ready to match the man who might become the next great Cuban fighter with the big dogs of the 135 pound division right now.
“That was an absolute masterclass, and a demolition,” Hearn said with regards to Cruz’ win over Straffon. “Don’t tell me about these prospects at 135 pounds, give me all the top boys, this guy will beat them all. You think people like George Kambosos, Frank Martin can beat this kid now? No chance. Keyshawn Davis? No chance. This kid is super, super special.”
Cruz, who beat Davis no less than four times in the amateurs, is a hot ticket and we fans cannot wait to see him back in action. After going pro in July, Cruz will very likely be matched tough next year. Tough? Is there anyone other than the absolute elite at 135 who are capable of givin Cruz a tough night? It can be easy to get carried away about a fighter, about any fighter, and Cruz does have some stuff to prove before everyone will be willing to buy into the idea of his imminent greatness – chin, how he reacts if he’s cut or otherwise injured during a fight, ability at not letting himself get big-headed and overconfident.
But Andy Cruz may well become the next lower weight superstar of the sport. Roll on his next fight, and good luck to Eddie Hearn and the team as far as getting Cruz the fights he wants/needs.