BG: You had quite the amateur career, including winning or finishing second or third in nearly almost all the notable championships, including Youth Nationals, National Golden Gloves, National championships, USA under 19 National Championship, USA National PAL Championship, and of course Ringside.
My question for you is, what experience did you gain and what now name fighters that you faced are now great professional fighters?
Cruz: Well my experience as an amateur was key to my success right now as a pro, being active and sharpening my craft was necessary to get where I’m at right now. To learn so many adverse styles gives me plenty of advantages inside the ring. I faced Gary Allan Russell and split with Eric DeLeon 1-1.
BG: Wow, DeLeon is now with Top Rank and is being positioned for a future title opportunity. How far off do you see your career from the likes of a DeLeon?
Cruz: I need to be active and get a couple 8 rounders, get some quality opposition you know, test myself and put my skills to work. In boxing, opportunity is one thing, but what you do with it may define you.
BG: You fight and train out of the Cherokee Boxing gym located in St Louis Missouri. One of the many top boxing gyms in the area. They say boxing is a dying sport, why do you believe that proves to be false, especially in St Louis?
Cruz: I mean, I like all types of combat and sports but boxing is simply for me. The history and heritage runs deep here in St Louis, so many past champions and success came right off these streets.
BG: With former greats like the entire Spinks family and former champion Devon Alexander, do you believe that the next generation can keep things going as well?
Cruz: The greats set the stage and provide the platform, they believed and so should we. They gave us hope because we now believe that these tough streets, these poverty-stricken areas can and will make champions. Guys like Keandre Gibson, Stephen Shaw, Joshua Temple, Derrick Murray and Jarvis Williams are uprising, just watch.
BG: Wow, lots of hidden talent. Let’s get back to talking about what you do best and that’s fight. Recently, I had a guy tell me, he only has 8 ko’s he must not hit hard. Do you believe that you have plenty of power to get to the next level and what do fighters most underestimate about you?
Cruz: Laughing- You are going to get haters it’s the world we live in. I have been in with some quality guys and you simply can’t knock everybody out nor should that be the only way you know how to win. I can do a little of both, I can use my stick and outbox you or bang you on the inside or outside. Most fighters that talk to me after the fight always say the same thing to me “man, I didn’t know you hit that hard.” So, I guess that speaks for itself lol
BG: Every fighter, has a signature or trademark punch. What is yours and how will you deal with someone that takes it away?
Cruz: Everybody loves my overhand right and although most of my big knockouts come from that I really believe in my left hook to the liver. Like I said, you can’t get by with a couple weapons, I continue to sharpen all my tools.
BG: I know that you are not a big trash talker, another credit to your maturity but what do you say to the comments made by another unnamed trainer “He fights with his hands down, that could be a problem down the line”
Cruz: Well some of the greats fought with their hands low, heck Mayweather went 50-0. I wouldn’t agree that they are low, boxing to me is about distance, range and setting traps. Have him call my team and let’s see if they can make me put them up, set it up BG lol
BG: Alright KC, let’s get you back to cutting that weight lol. Your opponent is a come straight forward no nonsense aggressive Mexican puncher, you have told me on numerous occasions you came up short in the amateurs because your style was fit for the pros. With him coming forward and you wanting to make a statement especially at home, what can we expect on fight night?
Cruz: Fans can expect fireworks. I hope he is as tough as they say and that he is in shape. I’m not one to just try to get some rounds in, there is no overtime, if I see or feel the knockout coming, I will go for it. My home town, my turf, my time, speaking of hands down, he better have his hands glued to his face…. cause I plan to take him out.