Orlando Cruz is ‘ready to be the first out gay boxing world champion’

Boxer Orlando Cruz has said he is “ready” to be the first out gay man to become the boxing world champion.

Cruz hopes to make history once again after he became the first openly gay professional fighter in boxing. Cruz came out in 2012 and married his long term boyfriend José Manuel in 2013.

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The boxer has been an ongoing advocate for the LGBT community and was celebrated after winning a fight that he dedicated to the Orlando massacre victims.

“At 35 years-old I feel great; I’m fitter and more determined than I have ever been,” said Cruz.

“Terry Flanagan is a true World Champion and will defend his title with everything he has but I am prepared and ready for victory and to be crowned the new World Champion. I’m ready to become the first openly gay World Champion is boxing history.”

Cruz previously spoke about being a role model for anyone who wants to take up boxing as a professional career. “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport.”

At a weigh-in earlier this month, he wore rainbow-coloured briefs and stood in silence as a bell tolled 49 times—once for each life lost.

Earlier this year Cruz won a fight he dedicated to the victims of the Pulse massacre which left 49 dead and 53 injured.