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Buzz: Boxer Cruz marrying boyfriend

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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Jason Collins received virtually universal praise — and rightfully so — for his decision to come out in April, but there’s another gay pro athlete whose decision to publicize his homosexuality has flown much farther under the radar.

In October, Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz announced that he is gay, and for the most part, he faded from the public eye afterward — especially once he defeated Jorge Pazos in his first post-coming-out fight.

But now, Cruz is back in the headlines as he continues to further the cause for gay athletes because he’s getting married.

According to NBC Latino, Cruz proposed to his boyfriend, José Manuel, with a video on Facebook. Here's a transcript of the message, which was spoken in Spanish, according to the site:

“I wanted to tell you how much I need you and how much I miss you. I know you are a person that means a lot to me and that supports my career and respects it which is very important, but above all you are always there giving me that push that I need. 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. 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.”

NBC Latino also reported that Manuel responded with a video of his own, in which he said: “I want to say yes. 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.”

As he noted in his own proposal, Cruz (20-2-1) is scheduled to fight Orlando Salido (39-12-2) for the vacant WBO featherweight title on October 12. But win or lose, it’s still refreshing to see that Cruz’s love for his partner isn’t being affected by his career in the public arena.

That, of course, isn’t to say that Jason Collins or any of the other athletes who have come out aren’t also helping to increase visibility and acceptance for gay athletes. But to so publicly champion homosexuality in a sport where tolerance is often in short supply — and where violence is central to the sport’s existence — is a feat worth commending.

Now, for some links:

• A new California law will let transgender student athletes choose to compete as a boy or a girl.

• Was Kevin Ware briefly kicked off the basketball team at Louisville?

• Kobe Bryant is competitive at everything — even using chopsticks to move balls from one bowl to another:

• Who needs a sick note to get out of work when you've got Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin?

• Steve Spurrier blamed a 'communication problem' for him suggesting Jadeveon Clowney might not play in South Carolina’s season opener.

• Heads up:

• Jerry Lucas is selling a ton of memorabilia valued at more than $500,000.

What would your favorite MLB team look like if not for trades and free agency?

• Jim Irsay is tired of hearing you complain about the price of preseason NFL tickets:

• Clinton Portis is the lead plaintiff in an 83-player lawsuit suing the NFL over concussions.

• Two brothers at the Naval Academy are making their names known around the Midshipmen program.

• The Detroit Pistons have a new alternate jersey that they’ll wear on Sundays at home:

• Speaking of which, who do you think has the best logo in the state of Michigan?

• And in St. Louis, when will the Rams be changing their uniforms?

• Everyone knows skateboard tricks are cooler in slow-motion:

• Wondering how not to impress your new coaches? Try breaking an ankle while horsing around in your dorm room.

• An X-Games gold medalist is taking a shot as a boxer.

• Kevin Durant and James Harden say they miss playing together:

Charlie Brown will replace Snoopy as the Yankees' promotional bobblehead giveaway on Sept. 25.

• A Rutgers defensive back found family in football after growing up in foster care following his mother's murder.

• Here is a devastating women's MMA knockout — and she broke her hand doing it:

• Prince Fielder is reportedly getting a divorce.

• Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel held a Google Hangout.

• UCLA is the latest school to start filming practice with drones:

• Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman has overcome a hearing disability to reach the NFL.

• Troy Smith is now a Montreal Alouette. How much longer will it be before he's joined in the CFL by another former Heisman winner?

• Even little kids are giving Juan Uribe a hard time for falling for the hidden ball trick:

• Just FYI, Indian cricket teams have cheerleaders.

• The New Jersey Devils sold for more than the Washington Post.

• Yesterday we showed you a clip of James Harden’s terrible Foot Locker song. Now, here’s the whole thing:

• Ten years later, a Little League World Series champ looks back on a magical run.

• A Jerry Sandusky victim was sentenced to state prison for robbery.

• And finally, here are a couple really weird baseball plays from Wednesday’s MLB action:

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