Brilliant. Orlando Cruz has won his first boxing match since publicly coming out earlier this month. The Puerto Rican featherweight champion beat Jorge Pazos in a unanimous decision on Friday night in Kissimmee, Florida, reports BoxingScene.com.
Scores were 118-110 (twice) and 117-111 in favor of Cruz, who made headlines earlier this month in becoming the first openly gay active male boxer. While the news helped generate more press than is normally afforded for a Telemundo-level fight these days, the two boxers were all business throughout the promotion. Once the opening bell rang, who does what with their personal lives was left in the rearview mirror and it was all about who was the better fighter. [...]
On this – and perhaps any other – night, it was Cruz and with room to spare. The Puerto Rican southpaw mastered the art of hit-and-don’t-get-hit all evening, jumping out to a huge lead early as Pazos struggled to even lay a glove on his opponent.
In a vacuum, the win hardly rates compared to what else Cruz has been able to accomplish both as a pro and amateur, including a tour with the 2000 Puerto Rico Olympic boxing squad. Some will argue the real victory was the fact that he made it to the ring at all for this fight, given the general machismo that comes with a sport that in several areas remains in the dark ages.
"That was my moment, my opportunity, my event," Cruz told the Associated Press after the bout, his mother Dominga Torres-Rivera seated beside him. "And I won."
Cruz became the first openly gay active fighter in the macho and hyper-masculine sport—well known for its homophobic trash talking and homoerotic subtext. The 31-year-old Cruz is now 19-2-1 (9KO) with the win. Bonus points: The crowd went absolutely crazy when Cruz was introduced.
Watch the video clip AFTER THE JUMP ...
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