INTERVIEW: BETHLEHEM'S RONALD CRUZ GETS HOMETOWN TV FIGHT
By Michael Walters
Undefeated in first 16 professional fights with 12 of those wins coming by knockout, Bethlehem, PA native Ronald Cruz is on a roll. He compiled a 25-3 record as an amateur in 13 months of experience, and then turned pro in January 2009. Although he doesn't have a lot of amateur experience, he has gotten plenty of high quality work in the gym, sparring with the likes of Demetrius Hopkins, Mike Jones, and Derrick Ennis.
Since turning pro, Cruz, a welterweight, has fought on TV a number of times. In his last outing, he scored a ten-round unanimous decision over Allen Conyers, getting past something of a gatekeeper for up-and-coming fighters. Having fought exclusively in Pennsylvania and New Jersey throughout his career, he should have the crowd on his side in his next fight, against Prenice Brewer in his first scheduled twelve-rounder in Bethlehem on June 1st.
Boxingtalk: You got a late start in boxing any reason why?
Ronald Cruz: I am from Bethlehem and there wasn't any boxing, there wasn't any gyms open. Boxing was always something that had my interest and I wanted to do but, I just didn't have the chance to get started. When I was kid, I had been to a gym and visited gyms in Puerto Rico but, never in competition, never anything serious. Then the gym opened up in Bethlehem for the first time ever, and since it opened up, I started there and I have been boxing ever since.
BT: Who are some the people that got you ready for your upcoming fight?
RC: I spar Derrick Ennis he's been a lot of help. Demetrius Hopkins. I sparred with Mike Jones once for this camp. Julian Williams, he was a lot of help too, for this fight.
BT: What do you think your best attribute is as a fighter?
RC: My body punching definitely, it's something that comes natural to me. I go to the body without even thinking of doing it.
BT: What do you know about your opponent Prenice Brewer?
RC: He has fast hands and and he likes to win (over) the judges' by throwing a lot jabs.
BT: What can we expect to see from you in June 1st?
RC: I would say I am very ready for Prenice Brewer and whatever he brings. I think I got an answer for anything that he'll bring to the table. Everything he brings to the table, I got something for it.
BT: I spoke to him recently and he said your a stationary fighter and bad with angles?
RC: (laughs) Yeah, well he'll have something coming. I work on my mistakes all the time and we know in camp what to do to fix our mistakes. If he thinks that, then he's making a big mistake.
BT: Since he's been stopped previously, will you be looking to try and knock him out?
RC: No, I won't be looking for the knockout, that's for sure. I made that mistake in my last fight. So, that's a mistake I won't try to make ever again. I will just be looking to do everything I did in camp. I don't want any regrets at the end of the fight.
BT: With this fight taking place in your hometown will that put any added pressure on you?
RC: No, it's pressure if you look at it from the outside but, I have had time to get ready for it. Come fight night I will definitely be ready. It will be just another fight.
BT: You are ranked 15th by one of the sanctioning bodies. How long until you'll be ready for a title run?
RC: Man, the way I have been working, the way I have been working in the gym I am feel very confident, I am almost ready. Whatever my promoter after this fight, I'll see how my promoter looks at it. If he, my manager, my trainers, if they think I am ready I will definitely jump on that.
BT: Is there anybody out there that you really want to fight?
RC: I will fight anybody that's ranked higher than me. I just really want to get up there.
BT: This is your first scheduled twelve round bout, does make you nervous at all?
RC: No, actually it's something I see as a convenience for me. People will know that I actually get stronger as the rounds go on.
BT: Is there anything you would like to say in closing?
RC: Be on the look out for me because I am coming on strong and I am dedicated to what I do. I am looking to impress and stay in the game for as long as I can.
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