Nov 14, 2012, 4:40 PM EST
It was back in early October that Orlando Cruz became the first openly-gay professional boxer … and yes, that sentence seems somewhat awkward. Let’s just say that Cruz announced that he was gay in a press release on Oct. 4.
The No. 4-ranked featherweight with the WBO at 19-2-1, Cruz said then that he wanted to be a role model for kids, and also that it was important to be true to himself. But recently he revealed another big reason for revealing his sexual identity: we wants to be a better boxer. Cruz, in an interview with Der Speigel Magazine:
“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,” Cruz explained.
Since his announcement Cruz has had one fight, a unanimous decision over Mexican Jorge Pazos to retain his WBO Latino Featherweight title. Cruz:
“This fight’s going to open my door for a world title fight.
“I was happy that the crowd respect me. That’s what I want: they see me as a boxer, an athlete and as a man in every sense of the word.”
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