Openly gay, Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz wanted to inspire the gay community by becoming the first openly gay boxing world champion, but he got stopped last night when he lost to undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) World Lightweight champion Terry Flanagan. After dominating for much of the match, Flanagan quickly knocked Cruz out twice during the eighth round; the referee stopped the fight soon after Flanagan hit Cruz with a final hard right.
But while Cruz lost the match, he’s still a champion to us — he remains a highly visible and outspoken LGBTQ fighter in a sport where homophobia runs deep, and that ain’t easy. If we had a fabulous championship belt to spare, it’d already be his.
And here’s some love for other famous openly-LGBT boxers too!
While researching other famous openly-LGBTQ boxers, we discovered Emile Griffith (an openly bisexual American boxer who notoriously killed his homophobic opponent in the ring); gay, Canadian 1992 Olympic silver medalist boxer Mark Leduc; and Yusaf Mack, a contemporary boxer who came out as gay after being exposed for performing in gay porn.
On the women’s side, there’s lesbian, British 2016 Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams; bisexual boxer Christy Martin (an American boxer who helped legitimize women in the sport early on); and famous transgender Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol who was apparently one of the first trans people — if not THE first — allowed by the Thailand to participate in the popular national pastime.
The links above all lead to interesting articles on each of them. Think of them next time you want to punch somebody.