By Ryan Burton and Damiαn Ferrer Reyes
Featherweight contender Orlando "El Fenσmeno" Cruz (19-2-1) has advised BoxingScene that he is ready to step in and face countryman Juan Manuel Lopez on January 19th in New York. Lopez is looking for an opponent for a planned HBO tripleheader. WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido defends his belt against Mikey Garcia and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin faces an opponent to be determined to round out the card.
Lopez was hoping to face former super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez but Vazquez has stated that he won't move up any higher than the featherweight 126 pound weight limit.
JuanMa had previously told BoxingScene that he can no longer get down to 126 pounds which effectively killed the chjance of the fight happening Cruz, a southpaw who fights at featherweight, said that he is willing to move up to 128 pounds which is the weight that Lopez wanted to fight Vazquez at.
"I see that JuanMa is looking for an opponent for the same date (January 19th) that I am. I am more than willing to fight JuanMa at 128 pounds," Cruz told Boxingscene.com.
Cruz recently made headlines when he revealed that he was gay. He is the first boxer to do while still being active in his career.
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Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter and tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene's official audio on Tuesdays. The show is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan BurtonTags: Juan Manuel Lopez , Orlando Cruz