The Cruz brothers – Isaiah and Calixto – are scheduled to fight together for the first time as professionals this Saturday night on the “Springfield Championship Boxing 2” card, presented by Granite Chin Promotions (GCP), at MassMutural Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
“Springfield Championship Boxing 2” will be streamed live on BXNGTV.com.
Junior lightweight Isaiah “Baby Warrior” Cruz (5-0, 3 KOs) will meet Akeem “Action Action” Jackson (6-5, 5 KOs) in the 6-round co-featured event, while his older brother, super lightweight Calixto Cruz (1-0), faces Ahmad Cherry (0-2) in a 4-rounder.
Of course, both of the Cruz brothers are excited to be fighting at home in Springfield. They did fight together on a pro card, back on October 10, 2018, at Foxwoods Resort Casino, when Calixto made his pro debut but suffered a shoulder injury, but Isaiah fought as an amateur.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Isaiah’s pro career is off to a very promising start in contrast to his brother, who is 3 years older than Isaiah. They are both trained by their father, Caesar.
“It feels great to be fighting in the co-feature, especially at home,” said Isaiah, who recently signed a GCP promotional contract. “It’s another step. I can’t wait to be in the main event. That’s the goal. I don’t know too much about my opponent other than he’s tall and has a long reach. I’m used to chopping down trees, so I’m good.
“This (fighting on same pro card with his brother) is something we’ve always wanted to do. We both have a good fanbase and we come from a big family. I’m used to fighting first, so this will be a nice experience for me. I definitely want to walk out with my brother.”
Calixto was sidelined after suffering a dislocated shoulder in his pro debut, then COVID-19 hit and Calixto was unable to get a physical until 9 months ago. But he damaged his rotator cuff during a sparring session, which led to 2 more months of inactivity leading up to surgery, which resulted in 2 months of therapy.
Calixto, to say the least, is thrilled to be fighting again, especially with his brother.
“It’s amazing that this is the first time we’re fighting together as pros after growing up together in the amateurs,” Calixto remarked. “It’s going to be a good experience. This is going to be a good show and I’m ready to represent Puerto Rico.
“Me and my brother are excited. I haven’t been in the ring for so long. My family and friends haven’t seen me fight in years and they’re all excited for my comeback, especially fighting on the same card with my brother.”
In the 8-round main event, undefeated Massachusetts State Welterweight Champion Denzel “Double Impact” Whitley (10-0, 6 KOs), of Holyoke (MA), will make his first title defense versus unbeaten challenger Kenny “Lionheart” Larson (6-0, 5 -0 KOs), of Salem (MA).
Russian light heavyweight prospect Ali Izmailov (9-0, 6 KOs), fighting out of Detroit, will put his undefeated pro record on the line in an 8-round match against Ariel “El Fenomena” Armando Basconcel (13-4-1, 12 KOs), of Argentina.
Impressive Dominican junior middleweight prospect Carlos Castillo (6-0, 4 KOs) is matched with Alfred Keenan Raymond (1-5-1) in a 6-rounder.
Also fighting on the undercard in 4-round bouts are Springfield welterweight Ian “Dynamite” Garcia (2-0-1, 1 KO) vs. “The Outlaw” Ryan Venable (3-16), Springfield junior welterweight Carlos Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs) vs. Richard “Hit To Hard” Barnard (1-10-1), and Springfield junior welterweight Liz Humphries (0-1-1) vs. Sarah “Switch Kick” Click (0-2-1).
Card subject to change.
Tickets range between $203.00 and $48.00 and are available to purchase online at www.massmutualcenter.com or from any of the participating boxers.
Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout at 7 p.m. ET.