ORLANDO-CRUZ

Out & Proud. Orlando Cruz announces that he is “proud gay man” making him the first openly gay professional boxer. In a statement he said: 

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. 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, a former Olympian and current #4 WBO featherweight, joins a growing list of openly gay athletes.

Boxer Orlando Cruz finally finds happiness after telling the world that he’s gay | NY Daily News

When he was 19 years old, Orlando Cruz competed in the Sydney Olympics. He had a girlfriend in Puerto Rico and a growing reputation as a fast, tough, counter-punching lefthander. Before he left for home, he had his first sexual experience with a man, pitching him into a state of complete confusion. “I was wondering, ‘What is wrong with me? Am I crazy? What is going on?’” Cruz says.

Out & proud: Orlando Cruz wins first boxing fight since coming out

Orlando Cruz walked to the ring at Kissimmee Civic Center last night as boxing’s first openly gay fighter and as a man proud of both his Puerto Rican heritage and his sexuality.

Since coming out as gay back in early October, the featherweight boxer has had to keep his focus in preparation for last night’s match against Jorge Pazos which he won by a unanimous decision showing comfort and determination in a victory that Cruz hopes further his dreams and gives him a shot at a bigger match in the future. read more

pinknews.co.uk
Gay Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz wins fight dedicated to Orlando Pulse victims
Gay Puerto Rican boxer, Orlando Cruz has won a fight he dedicated to the victims of the Orlando Pulse massacre.

Orlando Cruz, the first out gay boxer, dedicated the fight on Saturday to the victims of the 12 June shooting in Orlando.

During his fight in Kissimmee, Florida, Cruz rang 10 bells to honour the victims and their families and wore an outfit that will pay homage to the lives lost.

He knocked out Alejandro “Alex” Valdez in the seventh round of the main event of the fight card at the Kissimmee Civic Centre.

“It was a great opportunity to get the win and represent my people,” said Cruz after the fight.

“I’m proud to give them an equal opportunity to compete. It meant a lot to get this win tonight, because it provides the opportunity for a world title.”

Cruz, who is currently ranked fourth in the world and lives in Puerto Rico with his partner, was friends with four of the shooting’s victims.

Beautiful. Respect and love to Orlando <3 

During the fight he wore a multicolor boxing kilt with Puerto Rican flags on both sides. One of the flags was red, white and blue, the other flag’s stripes reflected the color of the rainbow as a sign of gay pride.

This is the second fight he wins after becoming the first active professional boxer to ever come out as a gay man back in October. As in the last fight, his mother was at the side of the boxing ring shouting encouragement throughout the fight. The venue was filled to capacity and attendees seemed to be overwhelmingly on Cruz’s side throughout the fight.

buzzfeed.com
Openly Gay Boxer Orlando Cruz Will Wear These Awesome Shorts During His World Title Fight

He will show his support for the LGBT community as well as for breast cancer awareness with pink gloves when he fights for the title on Saturday.

Orlando Cruz, who came out as gay in Fall 2012, becoming professional boxing’s first gay athlete, will honor the LGBT community as he fights for the vacant WBO featherweight title Saturday.

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Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

He will be wearing rainbow colored trunks and his clothes is styled after the Puerto Rican flag as well, his place of birth.

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Everlast

But he will also wear pink gloves and a pink jacket for breast cancer awareness. Everlast made the trunks and the gloves in collaboration with Cruz.

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Everlast
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LGBT Puerto Rico@lgbtprFollow

Orlando (@ElFenomenoCruz) Cruz will wear rainbow colors in his saturday Las Vegas fight - http://t.co/FzkY4IJt3h

10:25 PM - 9 Oct 13

Cruz, who is engaged to boyfriend Jose Manuel and will get married in November, is about to have the biggest fight of his career.

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Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Cruz (20-2-1 with 10 knockouts) fights Orlando Salido (39-12-2 with 27 KOs) in the undercard of the pay per view fight between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.

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Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

h/t Ignacio Torres

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Professional Boxing Has Its First Openly Gay Man

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Orlando Cruz, The First Out Professional Boxer, Is Engaged

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Orlando Cruz, The First Out Professional Boxer, Is Engaged

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Orlando Cruz: Boxing’s Gay Superstar

Orlando Cruz is the first openly gay professional boxer.

I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself. 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.

Malesoulmakeup - Queer Culture Blog

I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing, knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho. I kept this hidden for many, many years.
—  Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz • Revealing his homosexuality in an Associated Press interview — making him one of the first openly gay professional athletes still in active competition. The 31-year-old Cruz, who has a WBO Latino title match in two weeks, made the announcement with the full support of his family. Response has been positive so far, by the way — as it should be.