LAS VEGAS -- Orlando Cruz is dedicating his championship bout to the late pugilist Emile Griffith.
Cruz will fight Mexico's Orlando Salido on Oct. 12 in Las Vegas with the winner claiming the vacant WBO featherweight title. The Puerto Rican boxer, who came out last October, is 20-2-1 with 10 knockouts. Salido is 39-12-2 with 27 KOs. The championship fight can be seen via HBO's pay-per-view site on cable and dish.
Since he came out, Cruz has been lauded for being open and honest. He is believed to be the first professional boxer to come out while still competing. Griffith came out as bisexual years after his boxing career was over. He died on July 22 at age 75.
"I want to dedicate this fight to Emile Griffith," Cruz said in Spanish. "My condolences to his family and his friends and his fans. This fight will be for the LGBT community and all the people who believe in Orlando Cruz."