KENT CRUZ “I PLAN TO TAKE HIM OUT”
Calls were made, emails were sent, heck even social media was put on blast, title reading “I need a 140lb fighter for Oct 21st.” Several replies and quick responses came pouring in, with even some saying, “when and where.” But this matchmaker, quickly found out once you reveal the name Kent Cruz….as the cliché goes, then you simply hear crickets.
Before signing the 5’10 former Amateur star, we knew the task would prove to be difficult but after 20 plus names turning down the fight, we started seeing what all the fuss was about. The positives are clear as day, he’s tall, rangy, good amateur background, and has the flashy record. However, Cruz and B&B both agree there is work needed to reach that next level and this is boxing, anything can happen nor any opponent should never be counted out. Young fighters need to be active and tested and we can’t wait for KC to head to camp with Team Crawford this winter. If you have watched Camp Life than you already know what I’m talking about. We know what others see and the hype that is building around this young man. But what does CEO of B&B Boxing Promotions, Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, along with his world-class trainers in Red Spikes and Esau Diegez see in Cruz?
Bomac stated “We see a charismatic and respectful young man like Cruz out there self-promoting, grinding in the gym, cutting weight and staying positive each time we see or talk to him. The word professional quickly comes to mind and that’s when you go that extra mile. B&B Boxing Promotions see something in this young man and on Saturday night we believe you will as well.”
This Saturday night, right where it all started, St Louis, MO, live inside the Omega Center, Kent “The Puerto Rican Sensation” Cruz 13-0 (8) will face Houston Texas’s Eric Manriquez in a scheduled 6 round Super lightweight bout promoted by Gateway Sports & Entertainment in association with B&B Boxing Promotions.
While Cruz and Manriquez are the featured Co-main event, several other St Louis fighters are featured including popular Lightweight fighter Leon Spinks III 11-3-1 (7), 1-0 Jr Middleweight Jermain McDonald, Jeremiah Millet making his pro debut at Welterweight, and finally the main event undefeated Super Welterweight Jarvis “The Jackal” Williams 8-0 (5).
A mere 48 hours away from facing the tough and aggressive Manriquez, I caught up with Cruz for a quick interview.
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.
GATEWAY PROMOTIONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH B&B BOXING PROMOTIONS
OCTOBER 21ST,2017 SATURDAY NIGHT
OMEGA CENTER 3900
ST. LOUIS, MO 63120
DOORS OPEN AT 7PM