The world’s fourth-best featherweight boxer, who represented Puerto Rico in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has become first male boxer in history to declare that he is gay whilst still being an active part of the sport.

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendent career, I want to be true to myself,”  Orlando Cruz said n a statement last week.

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

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

Holding an amateur record of 178-11, with seven national titles, Cruz is looking for a win in his next bout to put him in line for a shot at the world title.

Although athletes coming out as gay is something that is being celebrated in the media, co-founder of Jim Buzinski, believes there is an expectation that won’t be met.

“What Cruz did is awesome, and he will be a role model,” said Buzinski in an article. “But this doesn’t mean we will see a parade of fighters (or other athletes) coming out. It doesn’t work that way,” Buzinski told

Cruz is scheduled in for a fight later this month in Florida against Mexico’s Jorge Pazos.

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