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Andy Cruz To Feature On February 24th Berlanga-McCrory Card

Andy Cruz To Feature On February 24th Berlanga-McCrory Card featured image
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 09: Andy Cruz celebrates defeating Jovanni Straffon by TKO in their WBA Continental Latin America title fight at Chase Center on December 09, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Cuban Olympic gold medalist Andy Cruz will return to the ring this Saturday on the undercard of Berlanga-McCrory (February 24th) where he is set to continue his young pro career with just his third fight since making his professional debut in July of 2023. Cruz will be facing Mexican lightweight contender Brayan Zamarripa Rodriguez in a 135 lbs title bout scheduled for ten rounds where Cruz will be defending the IBF International title which he won in his debut.

With his current position at #15 on the IBF’s lightweight ranking boards, Andy Cruz (2-0, 1 KO’s) will be angling to resume the momentum from his last fight when he stopped former IBO lightweight champion Jovanni Straffon (26-6-1, 19 KO’s) in a dominant display. His opponent, Brayan Zamarippa Rodriguez (14-2, 5 KO’s) is somewhat of an unknown commodity in the 135 lbs division, but nonetheless provides Cruz with a challenge to move up the IBF rankings and into a world title contending position.

Though he is just two fights into his professional career, a buzz surrounds Andy Cruz similar to the high expectations surrounding Keyshawn Davis (10-0, 7 KO’s) who moved into a world title contending position in little over a year after making his own professional debut in 2022. Given the rivalry that exists between the two following numerous clashes they had in the amateurs, Cruz was expected to be moved along quickly and has thus far done enough in two fights to already be considered a top 15 lightweight on every sanctioning body’s ranking boards.

A chance now lurks for Andy Cruz to not only impress and silence his doubters, but find himself come ever closer to world title contention if he impresses in his upcoming fight. The lightweight division is currently undergoing a metamorphosis, with two world champions having emerged in the past six months―after former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (31-0, 15 KO’s) vacated all his titles―in Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KO’s) and Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 15 KO’s), while the IBF 135 lbs title is set to be contested by former world champions Vasyl Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KO’s) and George Kambosos Jr. (21-2, 10 KO’s).

Cruz, who is currently trained by Bozy Ennis, father and trainer of IBF welterweight champion Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KO’s), has plenty of paths to take when it comes to world title contention but will first need to put up a solid performance against Brayan Rodriguez whose greater experience as a pro can always play a factor during a match. However, given Cruz’ credentials as an amateur and glimpse of his potential throughout his last two fights, Cruz will be considered a heavy favorite with several oddsmakers already predicting a blowout win for the Cuban.

Andy Cruz To Feature On February 24th Berlanga-McCrory Card image 1
The betting range between Andy Cruz and Brayan Rodrigues (according to various established bookmakers), courtesy of ProBoxing Odds,