No.4 ranked featherweight boxer rattles sports world by coming out

Effie Magazine News

Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz is the first man in the sport’s history, to come out as a “proud gay man” while still competing in the sport, according to a statement released to USA Today on Oct. 3.

Cruz said, “I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself.” He was 7 years old when began his amateur boxing career.

Cruz in ranked No.4 in the world by the WBO and competed with the Puerto Rican Olympic Team in the 2000 Games in Sydney.

At this time there has been no reaction from boxer/politician Manny Pacquiao, who’s comments about gay marriange to the National Conservative Examiner were seen as homphobic.  The comments caused a PR nightmare for the Pacquiao who was banned from the Grove shopping Mall where the TV show Extra is taped and where he was scheduled to appear. Explanatory tweets and press releases followed in an attempt absolve Pacquiao of any negative views with regard to the LGBT community.

Cruz appears to have taken this step in solidarity with other prominent sports figures who have recently come out in support of LGBT rights not only for the sake of changing public policy, but for the purpose elevating the values in the sports world.

“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,” Cruz said. “I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

As for his immediate future, Cruz is scheduled for an interview with Latin television station, Telemundo, next week. He will defend his title at fight scheduled for Oct. 19, in Florida.

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