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Ringside Boxing Report: Yusef Mack – Christian Cruz

Yusef Mack dominates Christian Cruz to retain the USBA Super Middleweight and UBA Light Heavyweight Titles!

Last Thursday in Philadelphia, Shuler Promotions put on a show from that city's First District Plaza with the main attraction being undefeated, rising contender Yusef Mack. The local man was hoping to stay busy after a proposed bout with ex-WBC Middleweight Champion Robin Reid fell through. In a pre fight interview with SaddoBoxing, Mack remarked “they flew Cruz in from Cali to take my titles, but it’s not happening”. The Philadelphia fighter proved to be true to his word as he thoroughly outclassed Christian Cruz, scoring a sixth round technical knockout to retain the USBA Super Middleweight and UBA Light Heavyweight Titles.

Round One: Cruz, hailing from Sacramento, California, comes out of the corner showing that he is ready to give it his all. His strategy of throwing hard overhand rights fails due to Mack’s quickness. Cruz then tried to tie Yusef up in hopes of working the body but hugs only air. This proves to be a mistake as Mack begins to connect at will to his suddenly wide open opponent. Cruz then opts to go toe to toe with the champ but Mack gets the best of this as well. Yusef shows excellent head movement, causing Cruz to miss almost all of his punches, leaving himself open for a number of combinations to the head from the hometown fighter.

Round: Mack 10-9

Round Two: Yusef Mack puts on a boxing clinic in the second. Cruz shows that he has fast hands but Mack is that much faster. Cruz is still game however, and is trying his hardest to find an opening but Mack displays a sharp left jab to start the round. Cruz starts to run at Mack, throwing hard right and lefts aimed towards the body but once again hits nothing but air. Mack shows discipline by not immediately going for the big punches, waiting instead until Cruz throws himself into the corner before finishing the round throwing and connecting with a number of power punches.

Round: Mack 10-9
Fight: Mack 20-18

Round Three: The pace slows down in the third, as Mack is less active. Cruz tries to pick up the pace with the bull rush technique but once again whiffs nothing but air with his punches. Mack uses footwork and the left jab to keep Cruz at bay.

Round: Mack 10-9
Fight: Mack 30-27

Round Four: Yusef Mack takes control early in the fourth by connecting with power punches upstairs. The crowd goes wild and Cruz can’t seem to find an answer. He is still throwing but not landing and is visible frustrated. Cruz does show the ability to take a punch but Mack works the body for the last minute of the round and the sustained assault is starting to take some of the steam out of Cruz.

Round: Mack 10-9
Fight: Mack 40-36

Round Five: Cruz comes out and mounts his first bit of productive offense. He is able to dodge Mack’s left jab and gets inside where he does some solid bodywork. Not to be outdone, Mack opts to trade punches with Cruz and a hard body bang ensues. Mack slips in a big left uppercut which leaves Cruz open for the power right to the face. Cruz sucks it up and goes right back to the body with limited success. While Cruz is starting to gain entry, Mack is able to outpunch the Californian every time. Cruz seems to be tiring and is extremely discouraged.

Round: Mack 10-9
Fight: Mack 50-45

Round Six: Yusef lands a big right early in the round, hurting Cruz. Mack smells the win and goes for the kill. With the legs of Cruz jellied, Mack throws rights and lefts upstairs and all land. Cruz is against the ropes when Mack unleashed a hellacious five-piece combo, giving the referee no option but to stop the fight.

Yusef Mack moves to 20-0-2 (12) on the strength of a sixth round stoppage while Christian Cruz falls to 11-4-1 (9).

In other action, super middleweight Jamaal “Tyson” Davis shut out journeyman Vance Garvey, winning a six roundunanimous decision. Davis is ferocious to the body and those hard shots consistently opened Garvey up for the one - two combo upstairs.

All three judges score the bout 60 -54 as Jamaal Davis improves to 5-1(4) with Vance Garvey dropping to 6-19-4 (1)

In heavyweight action, Maurice Wheeler endured a third round knockdown to win a split decision against Najee Shaheed over six rounds. This battle between sluggers saw both fighters land their share of power shots with Wheeler scoring mostly while working the body. Shaheed looked like he had it wrapped up in the third when he floored his rival with a straight right but Wheeler rebounded by fighting with a bit of caution which in turn won him the last three rounds.

Maurice Wheeler improves to 8-4-1 (1) and Najee Shaheed falls to 21-10-2 (11)

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