Sunday, July 01, 2018

Happy Birthday to Out Professional Boxer Orlando Cruz

Orlando Cruz hopes that other gay boxers will follow his lead and open up about their sexuality [AP/JULIE JACOBSON]
Orlando Cruz was born today, July 1, in 1981. He is a Puerto Rican professional boxer. As an amateur, he represented Puerto Rico at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.

Cruz made his professional debut on December 15, 2000, against Alfredo Valdez in Puerto Rico. He was undefeated until 2009, when he lost to Cornelius Lock by TKO. Cruz is currently ranked at No. 4 among featherweights by the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

On October 4, 2012, Cruz became the first boxer to come out as gay while still active professionally, stating that "I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man." 

He won his first fight since coming out on October 20, 2012. He was among the first class of inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame on August 2, 2013.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

He’s a legendary professional boxer, but Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz has also made a name for himself as the first openly gay man in the sport.

That’s why officials in Chicago decided to honor him at two of the city’s biggest summer events: Saturday’s Puerto Rican People’s Parade in Humboldt Park and, a week later, the Chicago Pride Parade that travels from Buena Park to Lakeview.

This isn’t just a stand-on-the-float and wave kind of deal. Cruz, 36, tells the Tribune he sees himself as a mentor to youth, whether it’s in the world of sport or in the LGBTQ community. The 36-year-old, who is winding down his career, said that’s why it’s important to be the face of these events.

See full story here.

1 comment:

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I did not know he is gay, how wonderful for gay kids in sports these days to have so many gay athletes coming out.