Saturday, March 16, 2013

Boxer Orlando "El Fenómeno" Cruz wins second boxing match since coming out as a gay man

UPDATE: A follow-up post including video of the three key queer moments of the fight has been posted here

Orlando "El Fenomeno" Cruz next to his father after winning his 20th professional boxing match by TKO in the 6th round.
Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando "The Phenomenon" Cruz (20-2-1, 10KO) defeated Mexican boxer Aalan "The Bomber" Martínez (14-2-1, 9KO) in a 6th round technical knock-out tonight that took place atthe Civic Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

Earlier today Cruz failed to make his weight by .4 ounces (weighing in at 126.4) which meant he lost the OMB's 126 lb. Latino Crown ranking but he still holds on to the number one ranking in the world which was officially announced today by the OMB.

After the fight he thanked a number of people including his trainers, his friends and "his LGBT community."  He also got emotional when mentioning his grandmother - who passed away last year - and dedicated the victory to her.

During the fight he wore a multicolor boxing kilt with Puerto Rican flags on both sides. One of the flags was red, white and blue, the other flag's stripes reflected the color of the rainbow as a sign of gay pride.

This is the second fight he wins after becoming the first active professional boxer to ever come out as a gay man back in October.

As in the last fight, his mother was at the side of the boxing ring shouting encouragement throughout the fight.  The venue was filled to capacity and attendees seemed to be overwhelmingly on Cruz's side throughout the fight.

After the fight he sent out a couple of messages on Twitter in Spanish:

My thanks to God for giving me the victory and for never abandoning my grandma and to her whom I felt next to me the entire time. I love you old lady.  

To my work team, Puerto Rico, the LGBT community, my people from Quintana and my family: Thanks for being there and being part of my life. I love you and carry you with me.
Pop star Ricky Martin soon replied with his own tweet:

Bro, I just watched your fight. Congratulations. I feel such huge Puerto Rican pride! Pa'lante. Truly amazing.
Reportedly Orlando now has his eye on fighting Mikey Garcia for the WBO featherweight world championship belt although nothing has been made official yet.

You can follow Orlando on Facebook (here) or on Twitter (here).


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