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 as billed, as Salido had Cruz’s number for most of the fight, before he finally knocked him out in the seventh round to capture the belt.
But hey, at least Cruz can tell people that he’s professional boxing’s first openly gay title fight loser.
“I went into the corner and he hit me with a good shot,” Cruz said. “I thought the fight was close up until then. It was going back and forth.”
“Cruz is strong and fast, and I had to fight with intelligence and put a lot of pressure on him,” Salido said.
“This is the biggest moment of my life. My career has been like a roller coaster.
“I’ve had my ups and downs, but its great to be back on top. It’s a very big win.” (Via Yahoo!)
Nevertheless, Cruz is still an inspirational story, and he spoke to Sports Illustrated about his decision to come out last week.
He’s also a hell of a colorful character, as his in-ring outfit – a mash-up of the Puerto Rican and gay pride flags – pissed a lot of his fellow Puerto Ricans off leading up to the fight, while he flamboyantly stole the show at the weigh-in for his fight against Salido with a very special pair of underwear.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes. Yes, the YouTube comments on some of the videos relating to Cruz are horrible, because – you guessed it! – the Internet is a terrible, horrible, awful place pull of truly evil people.