Openly gay boxer Orlando Cruz says he won’t quit until he’s a world champion.
Cruz, 35, announced his intentions ahead of his match against Luis Sanchez next week. If he bests Sanchez, he’ll move onto a final match-up against featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt.
“We are working hard for this fight and hope to do well,” Cruz told El Voerco. “We are facing Berchelt in January or February for the interim world title. But I have an excellent team and we have no hurry to get to that point. We are at the time of assimilating weight and going step by step.”
“At 35 years old, I feel great,” he added. “I know my opponent will come to fight, but I am prepared and ready for victory and then to be crowned world champion. I’m focused on becoming the only gay world champion in boxing history.”
Cruz came out publicly in 2012, declaring “I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”
Since then, the featherweight fighter has gone on to marry his longtime boyfriend and become an advocate for the LGBT community.
In July, he dedicated a fight—and his eventual victory—to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
At the weigh-in, Cruz wore rainbow briefs and stood in silence as a bell tolled 49 times, once for each life lost.
Cruz, who sports a record of 24-4-1, will face Sanchez on October 7.
h/t: The Philippine Star