Lightweight gold medalist Cruz pulled from pro debut for “drop in performance”

Fighting

Friday’s Golden Ring show in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which will see a number of Cuba’s top amateurs make their professional debuts, won’t feature one of the country’s most prized pupils. El Nuevo Herald reports that Tokyo 2020 lightweight gold medalist Andy Cruz has been pulled from the show after what his chief trainer called a drop in “performance” and “attitude” in the gym.

In his place steps world bronze medalist and multiple-time Pan-American Games gold medalist Osvel Caballero.

The 26-year-old Cruz, who also won three world championships and two Pan-Ams, was among the most dominant figures in the entire field, looked like a world-beater during his torrid run through the Games. We’ve seen our fair share of enormously talented fighters derailed through a lack of discipline, though, including a number of Cruz’s countrymen.

It’s not a red alert, but it’s definitely a red flag.

The roster still features other gold medalists in Julio Cesar La Cruz, Arlen Lopez, Lazaro Alvarez, and Roniel Iglesias, plus another amateur standout in Yoenlis Hernandez.

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