Boxer Orlando Cruz wants to be first gay world champion

Puerto Rican sports star says he consulted a psychologist before making the decision to come out

Boxer Orlando Cruz wants to be first gay world champion
15 October 2012

Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz says he came out because he wants to become the first openly gay world champion.

Cruz, who is ranked the number four featherweight by the World Boxing Organization, went public about his sexuality on 4 October, describing himself as a ‘proud gay man’.

The 31-year-old sports star has now spoken out about his coming out experience, admitting he had to consult a psychologist because he was so ‘scared and nervous’ about the decision.

‘My mum is my best friend and is the first person I told,’ Cruz told the BBC.

‘She said "Don’t worry, Orlando, I’ll support you". My father was homophobic but now he is happy with my decision. And the reaction in Puerto Rico has been good.’

‘I would tell anyone in a similar position to talk to your family and friends, get professional help and be happy.’

Cruz added that he came out because he wanted to become the first openly gay boxing world champion.

He began boxing at age seven, when his amateur career peaked in his selection to the 2000 Puerto Rican Olympic Team in Sydney.

Cruz debuted as a professional in 2000 and won his first minor world title in 2008.

American Emile Griffith, a middleweight world champion who fought in the 50s and 60s, came out as bisexual after his career had ended.

And in the UK, Charles ‘Pink Pounder’ Jones became the first openly gay man to compete in white-collar boxing, an alternative to the amateur and professional sport where office workers train for special events. 

Cruz’s next fight will be on 19 October, when he will defend his WBO North American Boxing Organization title against Mexican Jorge Pazos.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Berlin Festival to premier Brazilian director Daniel Ribeiro’s debut gay feature movie

The Way He Looks will show the relationships of a blind boy with his best friend Giovana and new neighbor Gabriel
No thumbnail available

Do we all need counseling?

A counseling session gives one GSN contributor a chance to think if other LGBT people would benefit from an emotional check-up
No thumbnail available

Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival announces first 10 films

The Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival has announced the first 10 films from its festival program for 2014 – including several that will have their Australian premieres at the festival
No thumbnail available

Writer, blogger, and editor Kenneth Walsh talks to GSN about his book Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful

'It was as if there'd just been a referendum on me in network television, and the vote was a resounding no'
No thumbnail available

Writer and star of "I Do" says film shines light on 'just how inhuman DOMA is'

Release of film comes as US Supreme Court is poised to announce ruling
No thumbnail available

US college football player comes out

'It was really personal for me, and it benefited my peace of mind greatly'
No thumbnail available

Thug hurls bottle at gay man's face in Edinburgh attack

Police are on the hunt for two men, possibly the same man, in connection with two gay hate crimes in the space of a fortnight
No thumbnail available

Study finds lesbians more likely to drink to excess

The University of Melbourne claims gay women can stop symptoms of depression if they have children
No thumbnail available

NYPD come out in force with It Gets Better video

The New York Police Department cops tell gay kids It Gets Better in video for the Trevor Project
REVIEW: Long White Cloud cafe – Hoxton, London

REVIEW: Long White Cloud cafe – Hoxton, London

A solid breakfast option on Hackney Road