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Andy Cruz Clinches Victory over Juan Carlos Burgos in Professional Debut

Ex-Cuban amateur sensation Andy Cruz (1-0) marked a victorious professional debut this past Saturday night, delivering a solid performance to outclass 35-year-old boxing stalwart Juan Carlos Burgos, much to the delight of his promoter Eddie Hearn at Detroit's Masonic Temple.

Andy Cruz and Juan Carlos Burgos pose during weigh-in
Andy Cruz (Left) poses with Juan Carlos Burgos (Right)

Clinching a ten-round unanimous decision, Cruz's scores read 100-90, 100-90, and 98-92. As a 2020 Olympic gold medalist, Cruz displayed a cautious strategy, consistently landing punches and maintaining a safe distance throughout the bout. However, Burgos found an opportunity to exploit Cruz's apparent discomfort with body shots.

Burgos, the experienced fighter, revealed Cruz's vulnerability to body hits. Each time Burgos landed a body shot, Cruz's reaction was unmistakable as he retreated, akin to receiving a jolting shock of 250 volts. This raises questions about Cruz's ability to weather body shots from formidable fighters like Isaac Cruz, Keyshawn Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, or Shakur Stevenson.

For the majority of the fight, Cruz seemed to stick to his amateur roots, focusing on landing scoring punches with minimal power on Burgos (35-8-3, 21 KOs), who is known for his slower pace and punches.

Andy Cruz lands a strong left hook on Burgos
Andy Cruz lands a strong left hook on Burgos

Despite Cruz's win, Hearn seemed reluctant to acknowledge that Cruz did not live up to the high expectations of a future lightweight division star when he signed him to his Matchroom stable. Cruz's performance suggested that he could be an ordinary fringe-level contender, but not one of the top ten that dominate the challenging landscape of the 135-lb division. His style lacked the entertainment factor usually associated with other lightweights in the division such as Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, Isaac Cruz, Keyshawn Davis, and Raymond Muratalla. George Kambosos Jr could also be added to the list, as his fighting style is certainly more enjoyable to watch than Cruz's.

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