Gay Latino Boxer Dedicates Upcoming Fight to Orlando Victims

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Orlando Cruz, the fifth ranked boxer in the world, and the first openly gay boxer will be dedicating his upcoming fight on July 15th to the victims of the Pulse shooting massacre in Orlando.

The massacre, which became the nation’s deadliest mass shooting claimed the lives of 49 people, including four friends of Cruz.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Cruz talked about on his feelings regarding the shooting. “At first, I was sad….Second, angry. I am very angry because people are homophobic, so they attacked my community. They attacked me.”

The boxer’s upcoming match represents a homecoming for him. The athlete will ring 10 bells to honor the Orlando victims and their families. The fighter also said that his outfit will pay “homage” to those lost.

Boxer Orlando Cruz has been critiqued for  wearing the colorful shorts pictured on the left. (AP Photo/Nat Castaneda)

Boxer Orlando Cruz has been critiqued for
wearing the colorful shorts pictured on the left. (AP Photo/Nat Castaneda)

Cruz came out in 2013 prior to match in Kissimmee, Florida. On his coming out the boxer told The Guardian, “I decided to be free…They can call me maricón, or faggot, and I don’t care. Let them say it because they can’t hurt me now. I am relaxed. I feel so happy. But to make this announcement to the whole world I had to be very strong. … I am proud to be Puerto Rican, just like I am proud to be a gay man.”

Prior to this year’s horrific shooting, Cruz had also lost friends to antigay violence. “I lost one friend who was murdered by people who hated gay men,” he said. “I was very angry then because homophobia ended his life in the most violent way.”

Cruz, wasn’t able to attend the Orlando victims’ funerals due to training camp. On Tuesday the boxer visited Pulse Nightclub, and left gloves and flowers to honor his friends and the shooting victims.

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