Orlando Cruz made history over the weekend in Kissimmee, FLorida, beating his rival Jose Jorge Pazos and winning his first fight since coming out of the closet two weeks ago.
Cruz was nervous about being booed or jeered when getting into the ring, however when he stepped out he was only met with a cheering crowd and flags of his home Puerto Rico.
Cruz responded to the support with “I was very happy that they respect me. That’s what I want — them to see me as a boxer, as an athlete and as a man in every sense of the word.”
“This fight’s going to open my door for a world title fight,” Cruz said. “That’s my dream, my mom’s dream, my community’s dream and my team’s.”
And Cruz seems to be more at ease with his new position as a gay role model, no longer hiding who he is in one of the world’s most macho sports.
“I’m only one person,” Cruz said. “I feel happy with where I am. I’m free. I’m more at peace.” – Associated Press.
Gays are good at sports! We’re super proud of you Cruz, and good luck in the future!
Photo credit: J. Meric, Getty Images