First professional boxer to come out

Orlando Cruz from Puerto Rican has become the first professional boxer to come out gay.

Cruz who fights at featherweight told the BBC “I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my career, I want to be true to myself,” he went on “I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

The news comes two weeks before he takes on Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino featherweight crown, a fight that could put him in line for a world title bout.

Cruz added: “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’s not the first boxer to come out. Emile Griffith came out as bisexual in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine, but the two-weight world champions admission came after he had retired.

The only British sport stars to come out during their playing careers are Surrey cricketer Steven Davies, footballer Justin Fashanu and rugby international Gareth Thomas.

It’s a shame this has to be big news, but it says something about society when so few gay sports men and women feel they can be open about their sexuality.


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