Orlando Cruz to face Gabino Cota tonight on Telemundo
At age 35, Orlando Cruz is battling opponents, as well as time, for one more opportunity to fight for a world title belt.
The former featherweight title challenger has won his last four bouts and hopes to make it five tonight with a win over a familiar opponent.
Cruz is facing Gabino Cota in a rematch of their fight almost a year ago to the day, at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa, Florida.
The 10-round bout will air on Telemundo, beginning at 11:35 p.m. ET/ PT.
Cruz (24-4-1, 12 knockouts) dominated Alejandro Valdez in his most recent bout on July 15. Not known for his power, Cruz was more aggressive and assertive from the opening round, wearing down Valdez before getting the knockout in round seven.
Cruz, the first openly gay active fighter in boxing, faced Cota on Oct. 9 of last year, winning a 10-round decision over the Mexican fighter.
A win over Cota could put Cruz closer to another world title opportunity. He is currently ranked No. 4 by the WBO at junior lightweight.
Four months after the Cruz fight, Cota was stopped by Toka Kahn Clary in the sixth round. Cota is now 1-1 since the loss to Cruz.
In his most recent bout on April 16, Cota (19-6-1, 17 KOs) scored an eighth round knockout win over Francisco Marquez.
In the eight-round co-feature bout, unbeaten welterweights Sammy Valentin (8-0, 6 KOs) and Joaquin De La Rosa (6-0-1, 3 KOs) square off.
Valentin’s most notable win is a fourth round knockout over Cosme Rivera on March 4, while De La Rosa has won his last four bouts.
Jose Medina (3-0, 1 KO) faces Tracey Johnson (4-3-4) in a four-round heavyweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, BoxingScene.com and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.
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