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Orlando Cruz says he admitted he’s gay because he wants to be a better boxer

Nov 14, 2012, 4:40 PM EDT

Puerto Rican boxer Cruz looks on before his WBO NABO featherweight title fight against Pazos in Kissimmee Reuters

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.”

  1. mvktr2 - Nov 15, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    Sounds legit. A professional boxer whom takes his craft seriously leads a very dedicated lifestyle. I can see where hiding his personal life could be the difference in giving 100% vs 97% and that of course at his level could be the difference between being a champion and a guy people go through to become a champion.

  2. Uncle Charlie - Nov 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    What the hell is the HBO Latino Featherweight title?