Metro Weekly

Orlando Cruz wants to be boxing’s first gay champion

The world's first openly gay professional boxer is "prepared and ready for victory"

Orlando Cruz with basketball player José Juan Barea, Photo: Twitter
Orlando Cruz with basketball player José Juan Barea, Photo: Twitter

“I’m focused on becoming the only gay world champion in boxing history.”

Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay professional boxer, speaking with El Vocero newspaper in Puerto Rico.

Cruz is hoping to obtain the WBO’s super featherweight interim world champion title from current champ Miguel Berchelt.

“‘We are working hard for this fight and hope to do well,” he said. “We are facing Berchelt in January or February for the interim world title. But I have an excellent team and we have no hurry to get to that point. We are at the time of assimilating weight and going step by step.”

First, Cruz faces Luis Sanchez on October 7. The 35-year-old said he feels “great” ahead of the fight, and is “prepared and ready for victory and then to be crowned world champion.”

Cruz won his last fight in July, which he dedicated to the victims of the Pulse massacre in Orlando. He lost four friends in a night of violence that claimed the night of 49 people and injured dozens of others.

“At first, I was sad. Second, angry. I am very angry because people are homophobic, so they attacked my community. They attacked me,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.

Cruz came out in 2012, telling The Guardian that he “decided to be free.”

“They can call me maricón, or faggot, and I don’t care,” he said. “Let them say it because they can’t hurt me now. I am relaxed. I feel so happy. But to make this announcement to the whole world I had to be very strong.”

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