Advertisement
Advertisement

Orlando Cruz Cruises To Landslide Win Over Jorge Pazos

By Jake Donovan

It’s been a big month for featherweight Orlando Cruz. On Friday evening, he made headlines for all of the right reasons after scoring a wide unanimous decision over Jorge Pazos in their Telemundo headliner at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

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.

The fiery Mexican managed to somewhat close the gap in round three, but his most successful moment didn’t even count as a clean scoring blow. Cruz fired a punch and then slipped to the canvas midway through the round, at which point Pazos connected with a punch. Cruz shook it off and proceeded to box for the rest of the round.

A similar sequence took place in round four, at which point Pazos was issued a warning by the referee. From there, Cruz controlled the fight’s pace and distance. His performance was hardly limited to sticking and moving, as evidenced by the reddening of Pazos’ eye, which was beginning to swell shut towards the midway point of the fight.

Action was uneven over the final six rounds. Cruz was brilliant even when forced to fight in reverse, while Pazos frustratingly attempted to minimize the distance between the two with each passing round. There was very little clinching in the fight, but Pazos’ best efforts at forcing an inside fight were thwarted as Cruz smothered his way out of whatever brief trouble he ran into at any point in the fight.

Mild booing graced the otherwise rabid crowd in the ninth and tenth rounds, each of which featured too much boxing and not enough banging for the crowd’s liking. The boo birds were quieted the moment Cruz planted his feet and unleashed combinations, at which point appreciation came of his ability to fight off of his back foot without taking much in return.

Pazos enjoyed mild success in the championship rounds (a regional title was at stake), but hardly enough to erase the massive deficit that awaited him at fights end.

The reading of the scorecards was a mere formality, as it was a given from the moment the bell sounded to end the 12th and final round that Cruz was clearly the winner. The 31-year old advances to 19-2-1 (9KO) with the win, his third straight. 

Pazos suffers his second straight loss and third in his last four fights as he falls to 20-5 (13KO).

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.

While easy to diminish the significance of his announcement and that it shouldn’t matter in this day and age, a more relaxed version of the featherweight was featured in the ring. Long gone is the fighter who looked overwhelmed in suffering back to back knockout losses to Cornelius Lock and Daniel Ponce de Leon some three years ago.  

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
Tags: Orlando Cruz image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ShoulderRoll on 10-20-2012

[QUOTE=Rikanlynx86;12621603]Orlandos antics in the ring was a little over the top for me, It had me cheering for Pazos to drop him.[/QUOTE] I agree. He's too flamboyant for my liking.

Comment by jtcs1981 on 10-20-2012

[quote=-Hyperion-] do people forget how Ponce De Leon crushed Cruz????doubt he fares any better vs Salido or Garcia..... [/quote] And Cornelius Lock did it too. Cruz cant compete with the best in the division. [SIZE="1"][I]Posted from Boxingscene.com App for Android[/I][/SIZE]

Comment by -Hyperion- on 10-20-2012

do people forget how Ponce De Leon crushed Cruz????doubt he fares any better vs Salido or Garcia.....

Comment by Mr. Anti-Duck on 10-20-2012

Good win for the gay community in boxing

Comment by CapitalTruck on 10-20-2012

The guy has heart, but man, does he also have excellent footwork and avoidance skills. I'm only a casual viewer, but Cruz has some of the best moves I've seen. The sexuality thing indicates he's strong mentally (it takes balls…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (9)
Top Headlines Weights From London: Fury 231, Kassi 233 Carl Frampton Relinquishes IBF 122-Pound Crown Kovalev's Promoter Details How Chilemba/Russia Deal Came About Andre Dirrell 'Definitely' Would Go To England For DeGale Rematch Porter: Thurman Doesn't Work on The Inside, Smarter Fighter Wins Gaiyanghadaogym, Sithsamerchai Claim Wins In Thailand Frampton: Leo Santa Cruz's Style is Made For Me, 100% I'll Win Jeff Horn Targets WBO Title Showdown With Jessie Vargas Photos: Joshua, Haye, Groves, McGuigan Hit BT Sport Awards Golovkin's Promoter: If Kell Brook is Serious, We Can Discuss It Nacho Says 'Perfect Fight' Will Still See Khan Get Blasted By Canelo Video: Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto Final Press Conference Patrick Nielsen-Denis Douglin Set For May 28 in Denmark De La Hoya: Canelo Has Surpassed What I Accomplished at His Age Video: Roman Martinez on Overcoming Lomachenko Defense Stevenson Motivated To Reach Childhood Dream of Olympic Gold Tyson Fury: I Wish I Had Anthony Joshua's C**k, I Bet It's Big Manny Pacquiao Shocked at Kidnap Plot, Requests Added Security Video: DeGale on Facing Lucian Bute if He Shocks Badou Jack Jessie Vargas is Ready and Willing To Unify With Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks Lucian Bute, DeGale vs. Medina, More Martinez's Promoter Details Situation With WBO Title, Berchelt Video: Felix Verdejo Talks New York City Return, Critics, More Video: Lucian Bute Confident That He's Downing Badou Jack Valdez Title Fight Under Consideration For Crawford-Postol PPV Video: James DeGale Putting in Work as Medina Fight Nears Video: Jack, DeGale Size Each Other Up - A Sign of Things To Come? Photos: Lomachencko, Martinez Face To Face in New York City Photos: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Face To Face at Final Presser Arif Magomedov-Andrew Hernandez, 5/21 on CBS Sports Network Francisco Vargas Positive For Clenbuterol, Salido Fight Still On Video: Roman Martinez vs. Vasyl Lomachenko NYC Presser Photos/Weights: Andre Dirrell-Caparello, Anthony Dirrell-Truax Photos: Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina Final Press Conference Video: Roman Martinez, Vasyl Lomachenko Go Face To Face Video: Vasyl Lomachenko Pumped For Martinez Title Showdown Tyson Fury: Call Me Fat, Ugly, Bald - But Don't Call Me Klitschko De La Hoya: I Won't Over-Martinate Canelo-Golovkin, It Will Happen James DeGale Rips Eddie Hearn: I Don't Lick His Ass, So He's Bitter Video: James DeGale Talks Rogelio Medina, Hearn, The Future
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement