Orlando Cruz, the featherweight boxer who came out last October becoming the first openly gay active boxer, is engaged! We know this because the proposal happened right under our nose — and yours, too.
In a public video posted to his Facebook account, the Puerto Rican boxer nicknamed “The Phenomenon” shared a heartfelt message to his boyfriend, Jose Manuel, for the the world to see earlier this morning.
Said Cruz in Spanish, “Through the ups and downs we’ve had, you’ve always been there for your number, as one says. I’m a little bit nervous, but that aside, I want to tell you and share with your friends and my friends that if you want to marry me?
“I want you to be part of my life and me part of your life, and it’s what I want to do most, is to do this. It is an important step in my life, a step that I think we have thought out and I want to do. I want to share my life with you and want to be with you always, and support you 100 percent, and you support me 100 percent. I like you a lot, I love you and I look forward to your answer.”
Within the hour, Cruz had a response. In a 44-second video also posted to Facebook, Jose Manuel responds with a teary “yes.”
“I want to tell you, yes, I do accept and would like to marry you, because I love you,” he begins. “I’m a bit emotional. I didn’t expect (pause) to find your proposal (giggle) posted to Facebook,” he says shrugging.
Cruz represented Puerto Rico boxing at the 2000 Olympics, and will compete for the WBO featherweight title against Orlando Salido this October, a year after coming out.
RYOT NOTE: Congrats to the couple! We wish them the best in life, and, for Cruz, in the ring, too. While athletes slowly find the courage to come out in sports, the industry in general still suffers from stigmatization and misinformation. The You Can Play Project works to combat that, and you can join them by clicking on the gray box alongside this story to learn more, donate, and Become The news!