Puerto Rico's Orlando Cruz is determined to make history by becoming boxing's first openly gay World Champion. Cruz challenges WBO World Lightweight king Terry Flanagan this Saturday at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The 5ft 4in southpaw became the first openly gay active boxer when he came out three years and says he is ready for another shot at making history after losing to Orlando Salido in a clash for the Vacant WBO World Featherweight Championship back in 2013.
"Terry Flanagan is a true World Champion and will defend his title with everything he has," said Cruz. "However, I am prepared and ready for victory and to be crowned the new World Champion. I want to inspire the gay community by becoming a World Champion on Saturday.
"Terry is a great Champion and a real people's person. More importantly, he respects my life and my choices. He sees the man boxing him and that is it. Everyone has been very supportive since I came out three years ago. I have the support of my family, friends and fans.
"When I look at my story, it makes me hopeful that more people will be inspired to come out. Right now my focus is fully on the big fight on Saturday and winning the WBO Lightweight belt.
"I've been feeling the love from the British people since I arrived here on Monday. Everyone has been very welcoming to me and I have nothing but respect for them. I am very happy to be here in Cardiff and fighting for another World title."
Cruz and Flanagan top a huge night of action at the Motorpoint Arena; local hero Liam Williams takes on Gabor Gorbics for the Vacant WBO European Super-Welterweight title; Liverpool’s Tom Stalker makes the first defence of his European Lightweight strap against long-term rival Craig Evans; Birmingham’s Tommy Langford faces-off with Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy for the Vacant British Middleweight title and undefeated Super-Bantamweight ace Kid Galahad continues his comeback with an eight rounder.
Wales is well represented on a stacked undercard; Gary Lockett-trained Middleweight Alex Hughes looks to go 9-0, Super-Flyweight Jay Harris looks to build on his explosive KO win at the Cardiff Ice Arena last time out and 5-0 Barry Lightweight Jason Sillett looks to impress on home soil. Ricky Hatton Heavyweight prodigy Nathan Gorman aims for another explosive KO and Market Harborough Super-Welterweight Rueben Arrowsmith looks to rack-up another win.
Remaining tickets for Saturday priced £40, £70, £100, £150 and £200 are available from www.motorpointarena.com (029 2022 4488), www.eventim.com (0844 249 1000) and www.ticketmaster.co.uk (0844 8440 444).