Malignaggi: 'Cruz will be fine'

October, 5, 2012
Boxing, among its fans and its participants, is something of a throwback sport. The rules, regulations and basic premise haven't changed too much since the Marquess of Queensberry came up with a set of ruling principles.

The personal philosophies of the fans and participants too often are aligned with that "throwback" mentality. So some folks braced themselves for a backlash when Puerto Rican featherweight Orlando Cruz told the world that he is a proud gay man on Wednesday night.

I asked Paulie Malignaggi, the pride of Bensonhurst, if he thought Cruz would experience a backlash for his announcement. "Cruz will be fine," Malignaggi told me. "It's 2012, society handles these things in a more mature way nowadays."

Well said, sir.

We in the media have a tendency to concentrate on negatives, look for areas and situations that need remedying. Too often, we neglect to stop, ponder and appreciate how far we have come. This is one time I think we should. Orlando Cruz is gay, and the response to that by many fights fans and those associated with the sport when they heard, was this: That's cool.

That's cool.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for



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