No.2 super featherweight boxer in the world, Orlando Cruz, from Puerto Rico, is committed in beating Terry Flanagan in Wales next month, to become the very fist openly gay world champion.
The 5ft 4in tboxer, nick-named “El Fenomeno” has secured a fight with Manchester’s WBO lightweight champion. Cruz has 25 victories, 4 losses and one draw in his professional record, after going undefeated for 9 years after his 2000 debut.
He came out as gay in October 2012, becoming the first openly gay active boxer.
He was one step closer to achieving his dream in 2013, but was knocked out by Mexican boxer Orlando Salido, who won the WBO super featherweight title.
Being 35 years of age, “El Fenomeno” realises that the fight with Flanagan might be the last chance he has to make his dream come true. Winning wouldn’t only be a big deal to him, said the boxer in a statement, “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have and always will be a proud gay man”.
Cruz has also dedicated his victory in July against Alejandro Valdez, to the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting: “It was a great opportunity to get the win and represent my people. I’m proud to give them an equal opportunity to compete,” he said.
The Puerto Rican boxer holds the WBO NABO super featherweight title and will fight against Flanagan, named “Turbo”, on November 26 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.