The vacant WBO featherweight title fight between Orlando Salido of Mexico and Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico will take place on the October 12 HBO pay-per-view undercard, beneath the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez main event. The card will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Salido (39-12-2, 27 KO) lost the WBO featherweight title to Mikey Garcia in January, but when Garcia missed weight for his last fight in June against Juan Manuel Lopez, the belt went vacant, and Salido was ordered to face Cruz (20-2-1, 12 KO) for the title.
Cruz has won four straight fights since losing back-to-back bouts by stoppage to Cornelius Lock and Daniel Ponce De Leon in 2009-10. While he's not really a serious contender in the minds of most, Cruz attracted a lot of media attention last year when he went public as a gay man, the first boxer to ever do so. It has nothing to do with his boxing career or credentials, really, but there's really no denying that it has played a major role in getting him fast-tracked to a title shot despite no wins over top opponents.
If Cruz has really made serious improvements since his two losses, then this could be a very interesting fight. He does have an amateur pedigree, and Salido, 32, is no master boxer -- at his best, he's a fantastic scrapper with an iron chin who out-fights opponents, which is what I expect most will forecast to happen here.
Does Cruz have a real shot here, or will Salido prove to be the same step too far that Ponce De Leon and Lock were in the past? And does this fight make you any more excited for this PPV show than you were before?