As soon as he walked out to a cheering crowd displaying flags of his
native Puerto Rico, boxing’s first openly gay fighter could finally
breathe and do what he came to do, slugging his way to a victory by
unanimous decision over Jorge Pazos.
“That was my moment, my
opportunity, my event,” Cruz said Friday night after the bout, his
mother Dominga Torres-Rivera seated beside him. “And I won.”
was touched by the support on display at the Kissimmee Civic Center
outside of Orlando, the latest in a continual outpouring since his
announcement two weeks ago that made him the first active male athlete
in a major sport to come out.
“I was very happy that they respect
me. That’s what I want – them to see me as a boxer, as an athlete and as
a man in every sense of the word.”
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