Orlando Cruz is aiming to take the WBO lightweight title from Terry Flanagan when they box in Cardiff on Saturday for all the gay athletes in the world.
The 35-year-old Puerto Rican wants to be first openly gay boxer to win a world title when he boxes England’s Terry Flanagan.
Flanagan, 27, is making the fourth defence of the belt he won last July.
“It’s a big moment for me, my community and my country,” said Cruz, who fought for the WBO featherweight title in 2013, losing to Orlando Salido.
“It’s very important, wonderful, that other people are interested in me as a role model.
“People have told me I’m an inspiration for coming out of the closet. They want to be the same as me – not scared, only happy.
“I want that other [gay] athletes are not scared to walk into the society. Don’t be scared. Be happy with your life, and happy with your decision. All people are the same.”