Photos: Mary Ann Owen
Former world champion Orlando Salido of Mexico and #1 rated Orlando Cruz of Puerto Rico worked out at the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas on Monday as they prepare for their upcoming clash for the vacant WBO featherweight championship on the undercard of the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez card, Saturday, Oct 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Orlando Salido: I am going to have to apply a lot of pressure on Cruz. I can’t let him run and I can’t give him time to think. His movement, speed and counterpunching worry me the most. I have to fight him smart. Any time you fight for a world title it’s significant. I have won two world titles and neither one was more special than the other. Saturday’s fight is no different. I am ready to regain the title.
I admire him [Cruz] for coming out. It’s courageous. But I am not treating him any differently than any other opponent. When I see him I see a man standing between me and a third world title.
Orlando Cruz: I have dreamed of fighting for a world since I was a boy when I first began boxing. I have dreamed of having that fight in Las Vegas. I respect Salido. He has been where I want to go – twice. I need to focus on winning ach round and stay with my game plan. It is no important to give Puerto Rico another world champion. Right now we only have one – Rocky Martinez.
I feel very free and happy having come out. I am happy with the support that all of the people have given me and I just want to continue to work hard doing the things that I need to do to make history. Since I made the announcement I have been getting nothing but support. Everybody gives me support and respect. When I interview with a newspaper, i would just like to have respect.
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Also on hand Monday were two-time Ukrainian Olympic featherweight gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko and his opponent, world rated Jose Luis Ramirez. If Lomachenko gets past Ramirez, he is expected to challenge the winner of Salido-Cruz for the world championship in his second pro fight.
Vasyl Lomachenko: Boxing is my life. It’s my profession. It’s my passion. It’s my being. I am making my pro debut in a 10-round fight against a Top-10 contender because I want to make my name in boxing history. I am grateful that Top Rank has given me the opportunity to make my pro debut on my terms.”
Jose Luis Ramirez: I am prepared and ready to go. I’m on a roll with a string of victories. I went to the Philippines and beat Rey Bautista in his backyard. If Lomachenko wants to make his pro debut against me, that’s his business. For me, fighting him is strictly business and nothing more. He can’t stop me.”