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Orlando Cruz loses in bid to become 1st openly gay boxing champion

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Cruz is stopped by Terry Flanagan in 8th round TKO.

Boxing at Motorpoint Arena


Orlando Cruz lands a punch against Terry Flanagan at their fight in Cardiff, Wales.
Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Orlando Cruz came up short in his bid to become the first openly gay pro boxing champion when he was stopped by Terry Flanagan with an eighth-round TKO at their fight in Cardiff, Wales.

Flanagan retained his WBO lightweight title with what ringside observers said was an easy victory over Cruz. Flanagan is still unbeaten in 32 fights, while Cruz drops to 25-5-1.

Cruz has been a fantastic role model for gay athletes and he said he wanted to win the title for them. The loss won’t diminish what his being out has meant to people.

For his part, Flanagan — who has a gay sister — applauded Cruz being open about his 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’s a good fighter but I’m going to deal with him,” he said.

Of course, in the era of Twitter, it didn’t take long for idiots and homophobes to mock Cruz. This was tweeted and then deleted by former British boxing champion Frankie Gavin:

Gavin later tried to walk it back:

Non-apology not accepted.