Found October 13, 2013 on
The Other Paper:
Orlando Cruz fell short in his historic bid to become the first openly-gay boxing world champion as he lost to Orlando Salido at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The Puerto Rican fighter was the first active boxer to come out last year and earned his shot at the vacant WBO featherweight title with two subsequent victories.
But Cruz (20-3-1, 10 KOs), who suffered a seventh-round knockout loss, fell short in his first bout at the highest level as he was out-fought and overpowered by Salido who was crowned champion for the third time.
Salido's last reign came to an end in January when the 32-year-old Mexican was stopped by Mikey Garcia but the new champion then weighed in heavy for his first defense against Juan Manuel Lopez.
Although he won the fight in the fourth round, his indiscretion meant he could not retain the title.
That offered Salido the chance to regain his place at the top of the division — one he wasn't going to let slip away.
A tentative first round saw Cruz — wearing rainbow trunks — twice warned for low blows as both men showed a reluctance to commit in the opening stages.
But it was Salido who increased the tempo in the second round, taking control of the centre of the ring and showing more conviction in his punches.
The 32-year-old Cruz continued to show a reluctance to engage as he attempted to dance away from his opponent and Salido eased into an early lead on the scorecards.
As if finally acknowledging the deficit, Cruz began to fight fire with fire in the fourth session but the volume of punches from Salido continued to increase.
Having soaked up the best Salido could offer, Cruz enjoyed his best round in the fifth but was soon retreating again as the bout reached the halfway stage.
After Cruz's valiant challenge and burst of power ran out of gas, a right hook and left uppercut from Salido ended the fight just over a minute into the seventh round.
Salido is expected to defend his title against amateur sensation Vasyl Lomachenko in January after the Ukrainian began his professional career with a stoppage victory.
BEST OF MAXIM
Orlando Salido took the vacant WBO featherweight title with a seventh-round stoppage of Orlando Cruz - the firstly openly gay active fighter - on Saturday.
Salido, coming off a surprise defeat to Mikey Garcia for the same belt in January, affirmed his status as one of the division's best by outclassing Cruz.
The Mexican landed the heavier punches throughout and knocked Cruz...
Undefeated Featherweight Gary Russell, Jr. of Capitol Heights, Md., has been designated as the mandatory challenger for the WBO Featherweight title and he looks forward to challenging the WBO champion for the title belt.
Orlando Salido just picked up the vacant WBO title by defeating Orlando Cruz on the Bradley vs. Marquez pay-per-view. Salido represents a huge step up in class for...
Gay boxer Orlando Cruz lost his bid for a piece of the featherweight title Saturday night, getting stopped in the seventh round by veteran Orlando Salido.
Cruz, the first openly gay active fighter, was outclassed much of the fight by Salido, who landed the heavier punches throughout before knocking Cruz down with a right hand to the head in the seventh. Cruz was on his knees and...
The co-main event on the Timothy Bradley vs Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view featured an interesting match. Both fighters on the co-feature share the first name Orlando. Orlando Salido and Orlando Cruz however do not share the same sexual orientation. Orlando Cruz had a chance to be the 1st openly gay boxer to win a title, […]
(via Getty Image)
Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz carved a name for himself a little more than a year ago when he came out as professional boxing’s first openly gay pugilist, and on Saturday he could have become the first openly gay WBO Featherweight Champion with a victory over Mexico’s Orlando Salido for the vacant title. But the Battle of Orlandos wasn’t nearly as entertaining...