Orlando Cruz Comes Out: Boxer Says He Is 'A Proud Gay Man'
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Author Topic: Orlando Cruz Comes Out: Boxer Says He Is 'A Proud Gay Man'  (Read 3126 times)
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« on: October 06, 2012, 10:06:26 pm »

History has been made today in the boxing world, as featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz has come out as a "proud gay man."

The Puerto Rican native, 31, told USA Today: "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."

He then went on to note, "I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."

A former Olympian who competed for Puerto Rico at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Cruz has been fighting professionally since December 2000. His next fight is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Kissimmee, Fla., but he will reportedly sit down for an exclusive Telemundo interview before that.

A number of publications have noted that while Cruz is not the first gay man to fight professional, his revelation makes him the first to speak openly about it while being active in the sport. As USA Today noted, Emile Griffith, a welterweight and middleweight champion who fought in the '50s and '60s, told Sports Illustrated he was bisexual years after his athletic career had ended.

Among those to praise Cruz's decision was Bleacher Report columnist Michael Walters. "For Cruz to come out while still actively participating in what has to be considered one of, if not the, most macho sports is truly brave," Walters wrote.

Video @ hXXp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/orlando-cruz-comes-out-gay_n_1939204.html?ref=topbar
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 07:17:56 pm »

Cruz wins first fight since announcing he's gay



KISSIMMEE, Fla. — These last two weeks have weighed heavily on Orlando Cruz.

But 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."

Cruz 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."

Cruz's declaration has garnered plenty of attention and interview requests for the WBO's fourth-ranked featherweight, as well as public support from everyone from former Olympic teammate Miguel Cotto to singer Ricky Martin.

"With all that's been going through my life the last two weeks, I have no excuses," Cruz said. "It did affect me, going here, going there. It did affect me."

But Cruz (19-2-1, nine KOs) looked comfortable once he stepped into the ring, quickly negating Pazos' longer reach with his own fleet feet. As a result, Pazos (20-4, 13 KOs) spent most of the night lunging after the smiling Cruz. Pazos threw more punches, but Cruz made his count.

Though the Mexican Pazos held his own for much of the fight, it was Cruz standing on the ropes playing to the adoring crowd moments later with a 118-110, 116-111, 118-110 decision.

"He's a boxer who moves too much, he knows how to box and he has good legs," Pazos said. "I couldn't get him."

Cruz is hoping this victory will get him a shot at a bigger match in the near future.

"This fight's going to open my door for a world title fight," Cruz said. "That's my dream, my mom's dream, my community's dream and my team's."

And Cruz seems to be more at ease with his new position as a gay role model, no longer hiding who he is in one of the world's most macho sports.

"I'm only one person," Cruz said. "I feel happy with where I am. I'm free. I'm more at peace."
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 08:04:12 pm »

 Grin This is so awesome. We all know that are way more men and women who professional sports who are gay but afraid and unwilling to come out. Kudos to those who have taken a stand. I know more are coming in the days to follow.
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 08:37:54 pm »

 Cheers great for him Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2014, 08:03:02 pm »

nice Smiley I always feel that the sporting world is one of the most difficult to come out in so it is great when someone feels confident to do so.
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