Andy Cruz: Solid but Overrated – Needs More Fireworks, Lacks Excitement

By Tim Compton - 02/25/2024 - Comments

While 2020 Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz (3-0, 1 KO) kept his unbeaten record intact with a lopsided ten-round unanimous decision against journeyman Bryan Zamarripa (14-3, 5 KOs) last Saturday night, his performance raised doubts about whether the Cuban can entertain to become a star in the sport. Cruz won by 100-90, 100-90, and 100-90.

Andy’s inability to score a knockout against this level of an opponent is a red flag, a sign that he will not transition to stardom one day.

Cruz has that boring Floyd Mayweather Jr. potshot, hit-not-get-hit style of fighting, and that’s not an approach that will interest mainstream fans.

The fans who like to watch non-entertaining fighters that fence, like Shakur Stevenson and Devin Haney, will be interested in watching Cruz’s fights, but not the general public, who dislike gunshy, timid potshot fighters.

Lack of Excitement

Cruz threw mostly one punch at a time against Zamarripa and seemed more concerned about not getting hit than trying to put on a dazzling performance by going for the knockout.

Cruz did zero combination punching despite his trainer, Derek ‘Bozy’ Ennis, urging him to put his shots together in combo form. Cruz just wouldn’t do it, as that would have put him in a position to get hit back.

Again, Cruz was more concerned about not getting hit by the veteran Zamarripa than he was about trying to go for the knockout, which is what he needed for him to have made a statement.

Hearn Praises Cruz

“When he fights a guy in the top five, he’s going to breeze through that guy,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to the media, reacting to Cruz’s win. “It’s going to take someone really special to give him a competitive fight. He doesn’t need a statement to get a Keyshawn Davis fight. It just depends on if Top Ranks that fight.

“Top Rank just knows he can’t beat Andy Cruz because Top Rank has proper matchmakers. There’s no way in the world that Keyshawn’s promoters or training team will let him get anywhere near Andy Cruz.

“That is going to be the difficulty now, finding the right opponent and the right name, and you just got to pay them a lot of money. I’m giving Keyshawn more promotion than he’s had in his entire career. When have you heard Top Rank and Bob Arum coming out and talking about Keyshawn Davis like I do? He just can’t beat Andy Cruz,” said Hearn.

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