Boxer Cruz aims to beat Britain's Flanagan to become first openly gay world champion

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A Puerto Rican boxer is hoping to punch his way into sporting history this weekend - by becoming the first openly gay male boxer to win a world title.

Orlando Cruz will take on Britain's Terry Flanagan for the WBO World Lightweight championship at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, in his second attempt to take the belt.

He came out as gay four years ago - no mean feat in the notoriously macho boxing industry - making him the first boxer to open up about his sexuality while still competing.

He remains the only openly gay professional male boxer.

But despite enduring some homophobic abuse since he came out, he remains unfazed.

"So they talk about 'ah, Orlando Cruz is gay. Ah, you know, faggot'. I don't care," he told CNN.

"I have my family here, I look at my family when I walk to the ring. So I walk with my mom, walk with my sister, walking with my brother. I don't care [if] other people are talking bad."

Cruz wants to become the openly gay male boxer to win a world title Credit: ITV News

Mabli Jon, from Stonewall Cymru, said he was helping change the face of the sport.

Cruz has also praised his opponent for showing him "nothing but respect" in the run-up to the fight.

Cruz has collected a string of continental titles at Super-Featherweight level, and has won four straight fights this year - but his match against Flanagan sees him move up to the next category.

Flanagan, 27, is unbeaten in 31 professional fights. He won the title last July - and this will be his fourth defence of it.

Cruz last fought for the belt in 2013, losing out to Orlando Salido.