Orlando Cruz

The openly gay boxer thanks the LGBTI community for all the support he’s been receiving.

Orlando Cruz has been beaten to the punch in his bid for the WBO Lightweight Championship.

The Puerto Rican was hoping to make history as the first openly gay boxing champion, but lost the match to reigning champ, Terry Flanagan.

Flanagan looked to be in control from the outset and brought Cruz to the floor in the eighth round.

The match was then called by referee Steve Gray after a particularly powerful right hand punch from Flanagan.

Cruz came out in 2012 and said he received a mix reaction from people in Puerto Rico, but the support from the LGBTI community has motivated him to keep going.

In a previous interview with CNN, Cruz said: ‘I don’t care if they say, “Orlando Cruz is gay.”’

‘The first person I told was my best friend — that’s my mum. She showed me love, respect, she told me it was my decision and she supported it,’ he said.

‘I am gay and I am the first openly gay boxer, but this has been my career for years. This is my life and I separate my orientation,’ he added.

Flanagan revealed in an interview with The Daily Telegraph that his sister is a lesbian, so he was ‘unfazed’ by Cruz’s sexuality: ‘Look, it was very brave of Orlando to ‘come out’ but I’m not interested in either his sexuality or his personal life.’

‘I’m only interested in him as a boxer; an opponent,’ he added.

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