By Ryan Burton
MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada - Undefeated super featherweight contender Luis Cruz (19-0) was a curious onlooker for Manny Pacquiao's Grand Arrival earlier today. BoxingScene ran into the blue chip Puerto Rican prospect moments after Pacquiao and his entourage left the lobby.
Cruz faces Juan Carlos Burgos (27-1) of Tijuana, BC, Mexico on the televised opener of the Pacquaio-Marquez pay-per-view card. While some people have called the main event a mismatch, Cruz isn't buying it.
"I think Marquez will give him a good fight. He has really put on a lot of muscle. His body looks like a machine," Cruz told BoxingScene.com.
Cruz defeated tough veteran Martin Honorio on Showtime this past April in what was his premium cable debut. He followed that up with a knockout victory over Antonio Davis in an off tv fight that took place in September. Burgos will be the toughest opponent of Cruz's career but he feels that the fight is coming at the right time.
"Burgos is a good step up for me. I need this type of fight right now in my career. I look forward to fighting on such a great card," said Cruz.
We ended our conversation by talking about the fighters that Cruz looked up to when he fought in the amateurs and as he moves his way up the pro ranks. Cruz mentioned both past and present Puerto Rican stars but also revealed that Marquez is the fighter that he tries to emulate when he is in the ring.
"I always looked up to the Boricua boxers like Tito Trinidad, (Miguel) Cotto, JuanMa (Lopez) and of course guys like (Wlifredo) Benitez and (Wilfredo) Gomez," started Cruz. "But to me Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the most precise boxers there has ever been. I love the way he fights. He is very accurate with his punches and I have tried to model my style to be like his."
Send questions or comments to email@example.com Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton. Tags: Luis Cruz