Out boxer Orlando “El Fenomeno”
Cruz won the fight he dedicated to the victims of a mass shooting in
The 35-year-old Cruz, who came out in
2012, lost four friends in last month's attack on a gay nightclub,
the Pulse, that left 49 people dead and injured dozens more.
Cruz knocked out Alejandro “Alex”
Valdez in the seventh round.
Friday's entire card, appropriately
titled Tribute, in Kissimmee, Florida was dedicated to the victims of
the Pulse nightclub shooting. Prior to Cruz's fight, the main event,
images of the 49 people who died in the massacre were projected on a
screen and the bell was rung once for each victim.
“It was a great opportunity to get
the win and represent my people,” the Puerto Rican boxer told the
Sentinel. “I'm proud to give them an equal opportunity to
compete. It meant a lot to get this win tonight, because it provides
the opportunity for a world title.”
Cruz debuted special trunks at the
bout, a rainbow speedo, and a tattoo in memory of the victims.