Andy Cruz – The Gold Medal Olympian From Cuba Lightweight
Andy Cruz won gold over the favorite Keyshawn Davis and preceded to do a rendition of a Michael Jackson dance. Cruz who is nicknamed the matador, is from the Julio La Cruz school of Cuban boxers were I am not sure I see the application to the pros, but it will take a special fighter to beat him in the amateurs. Cruz had only lost two times in the past six years, once in 2019 and once in 2015, that is how dominant he is.
Cruz started his Olympic journey besting Pat McCormack’s twin brother, Luke McCormack, as Cruz danced circles around McCormack, who seemed confused, lost, and frustrated. Those are the marquee words if Cruz is having his way in the ring.
In the quarterfinals, one of my favorite overlooked fighters Wanderson Oliveira gave him a very competitive fight in which one judge favored Oliveira on the cards. Cruz once again used his feet, and awkward movement to win this bout, but Oliveira was in the same ballpark with hand speed, so the bout was a lot closer than people would think as Cruz had to exploit his foot speed advantage.
In the bronze medal round, Cruz fought Harry Garside in a fight that was a lot of fun, but won’t be remembered as such. Garside came out sharp, but also willing to be hit and forced Cruz to engage the start of the fight was close, but once Cruz landed cleanly, Garside was given a standing eight count, and Cruz went on to win the fight handily.
The finals saw the bout we all wanted to see – the American juggernaut Keyshawn Davis, versus the ultra-amateur Cuban boxer Andy Cruz. In the end, Cruz now is 4-0 over Davis despite the closest bout the two have had yet with Cruz narrowly winning round one, Davis winning round two, Cruz’s hand speed seemed to slow down the volume of Davis just enough to see him lose the final round. In the end, my heart was wrong, and the experts were right as Andy Cruz won gold.
Fun facts about Cruz are he is highly motivated by dance and even did several dances after winning the gold medal. Cruz is a fighters’ fighter, as he started at ten-years-old and was inspired by his idol, Cuban boxer, Mario Kindelan.