Orlando Cruz (left) with fiancé José Manuel

Orlando Cruz (left) with fiancé José Manuel

Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz, the first openly gay professional boxer in the world, has proposed to his boyfriend via Facebook.

NBC Latino reported that the 32-year-old fighter made the proposal to his long-time boyfriend José Manuel in a video, two months ahead of a WBO Featherweight Title fight.

“I wanted to tell you how much I need you and how much I miss you. Now, more than ever that I have an important fight coming up for the world championship, I want to tell you that you are a very special person in my life,” said Cruz in Spanish.

“I am a little nervous, but I want to tell you and share with your friends and my friends if you want to marry me. I want you to be part of my life and me be part of yours.”

Manuel responded in his own video, also posted on Facebook.

“I accept marrying you because I love you and adore you. Yes, I do want to marry you because I love you, I love you, I love you very much. We will keep going forward and you will see how happy we will be. I love you Papi from my heart,” said Manuel.

Cruz made international headlines when he came out as gay in October 2012 and has remained unbeaten in two fights since.

In an interview with the Associated Press at the time, Cruz described himself as “a proud gay man” and said that he wanted “to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career”.

Only one other boxer has previously come out as an LGBT person. Emile Griffith, who fought in the 50s and 60s, came out as bisexual, but only almost 20 years after his career had ended.

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