Gay boxer Orlando Cruz loses in shot for title fight

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Openly gay boxer Orlando Cruz lost his bid for the featherweight title Saturday night in Las Vegas, after being knocked down in the seventh round by veteran Orlando Salido.

The boxer revealed on Friday that he would wear rainbow shorts modeled after the Puerto Rican flag throughout the fight to protest against homophobia.

At his weigh-in on Saturday, he came wearing a pair of rainbow briefs before changing into his shorts in preparation for the fight against Salido.

“This is my moment, my time,” Cruz said before the match started.

He was outclassed by Salido last night however, who landed heavier punches throughout the fight before knocking Cruz down with a right hook to the head in the seventh round.

Cruz, on his knees and unable to stand, was counted out at 1:05 into the match.

He said: “I went into the corner and he hit me with a good shot. I thought the fight was close up until then.”

It was his first title fight in a 13-year professional career. He fell to 20-3-1 with the loss.

Cruz was greeted with mixed reactions coming into the ring, where he was both cheered and booed by spectators. He was joined by a man waving a flag in rainbow colors.

The 32-year-old went public about his sexuality in October 2012 and became boxing’s first openly gay professional fighter in the process.

Cruz announced his engagement to long term boyfriend José Manuel on Facebook in August.

The couple are set to marry next month in New York.