Orlando Cruz has made sports history by announcing that he’s gay…
With that announcement, the 31-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer is believed to be the first openly homosexual pro boxer.
“I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man,” the reigning WBO NABO featherweight champion said in a statement released Wednesday night.
Cruz, who represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, says he’s relieved about his decision and had initial reservations about coming out in what he calls a “macho” sport.
“I don’t want to hide any of my identities. I want people to look at me for the human being that I am,” said the fighter known as “El fenomeno.”
Cruz’s announcement comes two weeks before he challenges Mexico’s Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino title.
He’s currently ranked as the WBO’s No. 4 featherweight. He’s 18-2-1 with nine knockouts.
In an interview with the Associated Press, he says that he met with psychologists before making his announcement and adds he has the full support of his family, trainer and manager.