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Puerto Rico boxer Cruz not shy about being gay, proud

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Former Olympic boxer Orlando Cruz says he “is a proud gay man” and is not shy about letting people in prizefighting circles know it.

The Puerto Rican, who has a fight scheduled for later this month in Florida, is believed to be the first professional boxer to declare he is gay.

“I've been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” Cruz said in a statement Wednesday. “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.”

Cruz (18-2-1, 9 KOs) will next fight on the undercard of an October 19 boxing event at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida. He is hoping that a win would put him in line for a world title shot.

Cruz compiled an amateur record of 178-11 and competed for Puerto Rico at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has won seven Puerto Rico national titles.

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