October 8 - Puerto Rican featherweight Orlando Cruz, who competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, has become the first active boxer to come out publicly and reveal he is gay.
The 31-year-old turned professional shortly after competing at the 2000 Olympics and is set for a WBO Latino title fight later this month.
But Cruz, who has won 18 of his 22 contests, says that he no longer wants to keep the issue secret.
"I've been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my career, I want to be true to myself," he said.
"I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican.
"I have always been and always will be a proud gay man."
The revelation comes two weeks before Cruz takes on Jorge Pazos for the WBO Latino featherweight crown in Florida, a bout that could propel him towards a world title fight.
Cruz has had two victories since being stopped by Cornelius Lock – his first professional defeat – and knocked out by former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon in successive bouts.
"I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career," he added.
Cruz's remarks come after former two-weight world champion Emile Griffith came out as bisexual in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine, but his admission came only after he had retired.
In Britain, only Surrey cricketer Steven Davies, footballer Justin Fashanu, who took his own life in 1998, and dual-code rugby international Gareth Thomas have come out during their careers.
In 2007, British basketball star John Amaechi became the first NBA player to publicly announce he was gay, but he had retired three years previously.
To read Alan Hubbard: The phrase "come out fighting" has been given a completely new meaning click here.
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