Puerto Rican gay boxer Orlando Cruz to marry boyfriend

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Puerto Rican professional boxer Orlando Cruz is to marry his long term boyfriend José Manuel after proposing on Facebook.

In a video message posted to the social networking site, Cruz said (via translation) “I wanted to tell you how much I need you and how much I miss you”.

Mentioning his upcoming WBO Featherweight Title fight against Mexico’s Orlando Solido, he said to Manuel: “Now, more than ever that I have an important fight coming up for the world championship, I want to tell you that you are a very special person in my life. I am a little nervous, but I want to tell you and share with your friends and my friends if you want to marry me. I want you to be part of my life and me be part of yours.”

In a similar video reply, Manuel accepted his boxing boyfriend’s proposal.

Cruz went public about his sexuality in October 2012 and became boxing’s first openly gay professional fighter in the process.

He released a statement to the world saying: “I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself.

“I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career.

“I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

Equal marriage is not currently recognised in Puerto Rico.