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Orlando Cruz Wins Championship Fight Dedicated to Pulse Victims

Orlando Cruz title win

The openly gay Puerto Rican boxer honored the victims Friday—some of whom were his friends—after taking home the lightweight championship title.

Openly gay boxer Orlando Cruz won a championship bout Friday during a fight dedicated to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Cruz, the nation's new lightweight boxing champion, bested Alex Valdez with a knockout in the seventh round. The fighter from Puerto Rico lost four friends during the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 49 LGBTs and allies last month.

Pulse shooting victims and their families attended the fight to cheer on Cruz in Kissimmee last week.

Cruz was emotional when asked about the significance of the win, holding his title belt and choking back tears and spoke about the "pride" he felt in that moment.

The fighter, who came out in 2012, had announced only days before the bout he would dedicate the match to the Pulse shooting victims and weighed in wearing rainbow boxing shorts.

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