A replacement opponent has been secured for Andy Cruz.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Mexico’s Jovanni Straffon has accepted an offer to face the Olympic Gold medalist and advanced pro boxing rookie. The bout is not yet finalized, but is trending in the right direction for Cruz to maintain his place on the December 9 Regis Prograis-Devin Haney DAZN Pay-Per-View undercard.
The lone remaining issue is for Straffon to obtain his travel visa. Boxing Scene was informed that the process is expected to be completed by Friday, in time for Straffon to cross the border for the scheduled ten-round junior welterweight contest at the Chase Center, home to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors in San Francisco, California.
Once settled, Straffon will replace San Antonio’s Hector Tanajara (21-1-1, 6KOs) who—as Boxing Scene previously reported—suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the crossroads fight.
Cruz (1-0, 0KOs) was adamant about facing an opponent on that level for just his second pro bout.
The former amateur standout—a Gold medalist for Cuba during the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics—defected from his homeland and eventually made his way to the U.S. to embark on his pro career. The Miami-based junior welterweight turned pro on July 15 with a ten-round, unanimous decision over former title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos in Detroit, Michigan.
Straffon (26-5-1, 19KOs) provides a very different look than what Cruz would have seen from Tanajara, a 5’10” orthodox fighter.
Cruz will actually enjoy a three-inch height advantage over Straffon, a 5’6” southpaw from Mexico City who boasts heavier hands than both Tanajara and Burgos.
Straffon won ten in a row at one point, including a first-round knockout of James Tennyson to claim the IBO lightweight title in May 2021 on the road in Manchester, England. He came up short in his immediate return to the UK just four months later in a September 2021 twelve-round, unanimous decision defeat to Maxi Hughes in Leeds.
The setback to Hughes marked a pattern of win one, lose one over his last four starts. Straffon rebounded from a fifth-round stoppage to Zaur Abdullaev last September with a sixth-round knockout of Peru’s Jesus Bravo on July 22 in Metepec, Mexico.
This development comes on the heels of another resolved undercard crisis.
As previously reported by Boxing Scene, IBF bantamweight titlist Ebanie Bridges will now face Miyo Yoshida, a Japan-born, New York City-based former two-time WBO junior bantamweight titlist. Australia’s Bridges was previously due to face countrywoman Avril Mathie, who was pulled from the fight due to an undisclosed injury,
Cruz is part of a four-fight PPV telecast, topped by the WBC junior welterweight title fight.
Prograis (29-1, 24KOs)—a New Orleans-bred two-time titlist now based in the greater Houston area—will attempt the second defense of his second title reign in the evening’s main event.
Las Vegas’s Haney (30-0, 15KOs)—who was born in San Francisco—will move up from lightweight, where he is the recognized lineal and unified WBA, IBF and WBO champion as he bids to become a two-weight champ. The 24-year-old returns to his birth city, where he will fight for the first time atop a show which is approaching sold-out status on current ticket inventory.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox