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Orlando Cruz Becomes First Openly Gay Male Pro Boxer

Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz, a former Olympian, revealed that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay active boxer in history.

In a press release, 31-year-old Cruz said:

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.”

Cruz (18-2-1, 9 KOs), the No. 4-ranked featherweight by the WBO, 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, 31, began boxing at age 7, and his amateur career culminated in his selection to the 2000 Puerto Rican Olympic Team in Sydney. His teammates included former world champions Miguel Cotto and Ivan Calderon.

Orlando Cruz will talk about his announcement in a sit-down televised interview next week. The boxer is preparing for a run at the world title.