Puerto Rican boxer Orlando “The
Phenomenon” Cruz says he's ready for Saturday's world title fight.
The 32-year-old Cruz is training to
fight Mexico's Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title.
The bout will take place at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las
In remarks to the UK's The
Independent, Cruz, who came out last year, said that he was
ready to make history as the world's first openly gay boxer to win a
world title. But win or lose, Cruz will still go down in history as
the first openly gay boxer to fight for a world title.
“I now feel free to just get on with
the boxing,” Cruz said. “I'm not fighting two opponents any
longer and that is a great relief. The nights of staying awake and
crying are over.”
Cruz has dedicated the upcoming fight
to Emile Griffith, one of the greatest boxers in history. Griffith, who
died over the summer in New York, acknowledged that he was bisexual
in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“I like men and women both,” he
said. “But I don't like that word: homosexual, gay or faggot. I
don't know what I am. I love men and women the same, but if you ask
me which is better … I like women.”
Salido said that he wasn't concerned
about Cruz's sexual orientation.
“Gay, so what?” he said. “We are
just two fighters and we both want to win the world title.”
boxer Orland Cruz proposes marriage.)