Gay boxer Orlando Cruz to wear rainbow trunks, pink gloves during fight


It has been just over a year since professional boxer Orlando Cruz decided to publicly reveal he is gay. Since coming out, Cruz has been open about discussing his homosexuality and even proposed to his boyfriend publicly using Facebook. On Saturday during his fight against Orlando Salido, Cruz will be using his gear to support the LGBT community and raise aware for breast cancer.

For starters, Cruz will be sporting rainbow-colored trunks as a representation of the LGBT flag that was created in San Francisco in 1978. As Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports pointed out, he will also be wearing pink gloves and walking to the ring in a vest that has the rainbow flag on the back and pink trim on the front.

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Gay boxer Orlando Cruz proposes to boyfriend over Facebook

Life is all about firsts for Orlando Cruz. Last year, the Puerto Rican became the first openly gay boxer. Now he’s the first homosexual athlete to propose to his significant other using a social media service.

Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KOs) recorded this proposal video for boyfriend Jose Manuel and posted it on his Facebook.

“I wanted to tell you how much I need you and how much I miss you,” Cruz says to Manuel in the video, via translation from NBC Latino. “I know you are a person that means a lot to me and that supports my career and respects it which is very important, but above all you are always there giving me that push that I need. Now more than ever that I have an important fight coming up for the world championship.

“I want to tell you that you are a very special person in my life. I am a little nervous, but I want to tell you and share with your friends and my friends if you want to marry me. I want you to be part of my life and me be part of yours.”

Cruz referenced his big fight coming up. He is facing Orlando Salido in October for the vacant WBO featherweight title. The good news is his spirits should be uplifted going into the fight now that his boyfriend accepted the proposal in a video of his own.

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Gay boxer Orlando Cruz hoped coming out would make him a better fighter

Last month, professional boxer Orlando Cruz publicly revealed that he is gay, making him one of the first athletes in professional sports to come out while still in the middle of his career. It’s natural to wonder what led to his decision to come out given all the distractions that come along with it. While it may be hard for some to believe, Cruz believes being open about his homosexuality can help him become a better fighter.

“I have earned myself respect as an athlete,” Cruz told Spiegel when asked about his decision to come out. “I have only lost 2 out of 22 professional fights. I knocked out some of my opponents in the first round. But I never really received respect as a person. That’s something I had come to realize over the past few years. The end of my boxing career is no longer that far off, and it was time for me to make peace with myself. And there was a second reason for me to come out: I hoped it would make me a better boxer.

“Until now, I have kept my personal life and my career strictly separate from each other. No one was supposed to know that I’m gay. This game of hide-and-seek was incredibly strenuous and it took a lot of energy out of me. Now I’m hoping that I can put that energy into my training.”

The unfortunate truth is that Cruz would have to deal with distractions whether he came out or not. However, his explanation for revealing he is gay makes sense. Rather than having to worry about covering up his homosexuality or pretending he is someone he’s not, Cruz can now focus on training and becoming a better fighter.

Cruz also said he knows a number of gay professional athletes and that there are more homosexuals in sports than we think. While a number of teams and star players have come out in support of the gay community, unfortunate instances like this one prove that there is still a long way to go. Hopefully someone like Cruz coming out inspires others to, at the very least, feel more comfortable in their own skin.

Boxer Orlando Cruz reveals he is gay

Boxer Orlando Cruz publicly revealed on Wednesday that he is gay, making him one of the first athletes to come out while playing professional sports. He is believed to be the first openly gay boxer in the sport’s history.

Cruz made his announcement through a press release distributed late Wednesday.

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” said Cruz. “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 is 18-2-1 with nine career knockouts. He is a former Olympian who competed for Puerto Rico at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, and currently ranked as the WBO’s No. 4 featherweight.

Cruz has been fighting professionally since December 2000. He started his career 16-0-1 and did not lose until 2009 when he lost to Cornelius Lock by TKO. Cruz also lost to Daniel Ponce De Leon in his next fight, but has won his two fights since then.

Cruz is scheduled to defend his WBO NABO title against Jorge Pazos on Oct. 19 in Kissimmee, Fla.

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