Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz says he was nervous about announcing that he is gay.

Last week, the 31-year-old Cruz released a statement in which he said that he is “a proud gay man,” making him the first boxer to come out during his career.

Cruz, who is currently ranked No. 4 in the world by the WBO and competes in the featherweight division, told CNN that he told his mother that he was “nervous” about coming out.

In an interview with the AP, Cruz called it a “big step in my life.”

“I developed physically and mentally to take such a big step in my life and in my profession, which is boxing, knowing that it would have pros and cons, highs and lows in this sport that is so macho. I kept this hidden for many, many years,” he said.

He said he has the support of his family, friends, trainer and manager.

He said of his father: “Like every father, he wants his son to be a full-blooded man. But he is aware of my preference, my taste.”

Later this month, Cruz challenges Mexican boxer Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino title.

(Source: CNN.)