Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz, from Puerto Rico, has become the first openly gay man in the sport’s history, describing himself Wednesday as a “proud gay man.”
“I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might
look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will
always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a
proud gay man.”
Cruz, 31, began boxing at age 7, and his amateur
career culminated in his selection to the 2000 Puerto Rican Olympic Team
Cruz debuted as a professional in 2000 and won his first world title
(vacant IBA, a lesser title) on March 22, 2008. His next fight is Oct.
19 in Kissimmee, Fla., when he will defend his WBO NABO title against
Jorge Pazos. A win could put Cruz in line for a major title shot.