Orlando Cruz, a pro for almost 13 years, and Orlando Cruz, who turned pro in 1996, clashed at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, underneath the Bradley-Marquez mainer. The WBO 125 pound crown was up for grabs.
It was the Mexican Salido who masterfully put together body and head shots, and won bragging rights of boxing’s Orlandos; he finished the Puerto Rican at 1:05 after grinding him down with steely intent.
A right hand-left follow sent Cruz to the mat, not long after it looked like perhaps Salido was fading and Cruz had found some tactics and a strategy to suit him.
Salido (two time feather champ) entered coming off a loss to Mikey Garcia, in January, while Cruz (20-2-1 entering) beat Aalan Martinez in his last outing, on March 15. Garcia couldn’t make weight, and lost that crown on the scale against Juan Manuel Marquez in June.
Cruz looked tentative in the first. Salido went to the body to start the second and the lefty Cruz ate a hard left hook at 1:30. The Mexican hunted down Cruz, who had to make sure his body was protected at all times. Salido strayed low a few times in the second. Cruz is a cutie, not one to really sit down on shots, plant and blast. The Puerto Rican smacked and dashed a bit better in the third. Cruz treated it more as a fight in the fourth; he had to, or Salido would grind him down.
In the fifth, Cruz had luck doing what he was doing well late in the fourth. He became the aggressor more. Salido got busier in the sixth, mixing low and high shots. The end came for Cruz in the seventh, off a combo.
A left hand was the finisher, after a right hand on the head. Body shots before that were hurtful as well.
It didn’t appear that anyone in the ring cared about Cruz’ sexual identity; the fighter came out last year, and that fact was used as a storyline for the bout and the card. Salido simply treated him as any other human being in the ring