MANILA, Philippines – Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz, who is believed to be the first openly gay boxer in the history of the sport, does not regret his decision to come out.
In an interview with HBO Real Sports, Cruz said he is very happy with his decision.
“Yeah, I am very, very happy. I am free,” Cruz said.
Cruz said he decided to come out in the hopes of gaining respect both inside and outside the boxing ring.
“I want respect, here in my sport and outside the ring,” he said. “And yes, I have that.”
Cruz revealed that prior to coming out, he would cry before and after going to the gym.
“I would cry, and I would think ‘My God, help me,’” he said.
A few days after his revelation, Cruz defeated Jorge Pazos via unanimous decision to inch closer to his goal of fighting for a world title.