Ronald Cruz Stops Jeremy Bryan in 6th Round

Cruz improved to 10-0 with the win.
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Fast Start by Bryan Hits Wall in 5th Frame

Atlantic City has seemingly become a black eye to the career of junior welterweight Jeremy Bryan (14-2, 7 KOs), who suffered a TKO loss to undefeated Pennsylvania native Ronald Cruz (10-0, 7 KOs) tonight at Bally’s Event Center. Bryan suffered the first loss of his professional career to Vincent Arroyo (10-1, 7 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall in April, but he then rebounded by stopping Daniel Mitchell (5-2, 2 KOs) in August at Newark’s Prudential Center. However, the defeat tonight has now given him two losses in his last three fights.

Bryan came out in his match moving very well, setting up some well designed combinations with a quick left jab. He did a nice job of picking his openings while displaying some good footwork in the early going, moving around the ring at a rate that prevented Cruz from being able to set up much of an attack. He proved to have a very good motor and would not allow his opposition to pull him into a close-range battle. Throughout the first three rounds of the fight, Bryan stuck to his plan of staying on his bicycle and throwing busy hands when the opportunity arose.

In the fourth frame, you could start to sense a shift in the momentum. Cruz became much more active, and he started being able to hit his mark more often than in the earlier rounds. Bryan was still moving well, but his strategy did not seem to be quite as successful in keeping Cruz at bay.

The fifth stanza was a tough one for Bryan. Cruz hit him with a big left hand early that had him dazed, and a follow-up combination forced Bryan to take a knee for a standing eight count. When the Paterson, New Jersey, native got back to his feet, he clearly had a serious issue with his left eye and repeatedly looked to his corner with concern. He then began to work the edge of the ring in an attempt to keep his distance from Cruz, and the action was soon stopped for a referee timeout so Bryan could get his mouthpiece back in. As soon as the clock was rewound, he came out of his corner and was immediately dropped again with a hard right hand from Cruz. He quickly popped back up after hitting the canvas, and the bell came soon after that to conclude a very bad round.

Obviously still affected by the damage he suffered in the fifth frame, Bryan came out in the sixth stanza and again tried to use his wheels to gain some recovery. Cruz, however, immediately applied heavy pressure, and Bryan seemed unable to defend himself with any consistency. Cruz eventually landed a sharp left hook that dropped Bryan for a third time, and referee Brian O'Melia immediately ruled that he was no longer able to compete and waved off the bout. The official time of the stoppage was at the 59-second mark.

At the conclusion of the fight, it was unknown how extensive an injury that Bryan underwent in the fifth round, but he may have suffered other setbacks in addition to what appeared to be significant trouble with his left eye. He showed much resiliency and toughness by attempting to continue as long as he could, but one can only hope that his decision to come out in the sixth frame did not further impact any damage he was dealt tonight.

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