Orlando Cruz wants to change perceptions by winning the WBO lightweight title from Terry Flanagan. The 35-year-old will face the 27-year-old Englishman at the Mororpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales on Saturday.
“It’s a big moment for me, my community and my country. I want that other [gay] athletes are not scared to walk into the society. Don’t be scared. Be happy with your life, and happy with your decision. All people are the same.” Cruz said, as reported by BBC.
Puerto Rican Cruz wishes to become the first open gay boxer to win a world title. The bout will be his first fight in Europe. His opponent Flanagan will be making his fourth title defense since he won it in July, last year, according to NBC NEWS.
In 2012, Cruz came out in public to become the first professional boxer to reveal his sexual preference while competing. Since the declaration, the man nicknamed El Fenómeno has fought nine times.
One of the fights was against Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title in 2013. Orlando Cruz chose to wear colored shorts to show support to the gay community.
Video courtesy: YouTube.com/HBOBoxing
The man from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico has won four straight fights, last year. However, Cruz fought as a super-featherweight in those fights. The boxer did not fight as a lightweight until June, this year.
Terry Flanagan clear favorite against Cruz; Englishman looking ahead to unification fights
Terry Flanagan, WBO lightweight champion from Manchester, England wants a title unification bout in the future. The 27-year-old spoke about the rumored Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares rematch.
“Me and Crolla in Manchester would be huge if he avenged Linares. But we’ve offered the fight to Anthony’s team before and I really don’t think they want it.” Flanagan said.
He also suggested that if a unification fight is not possible, then he will honor a mandatory one against Felix Vardejo, early next year.
Speaking on his Saturday’s opponent, Flanagan praised Orlando Cruz’s bravery.
“He’s won his last five, three by stoppage. He’s got to be respected but I’m going to deal with him.” Flanagan added.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Orlando-Cruz