Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Sports in Brief

Boxing

Fighter comes out that he's gay

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Calling himself "a proud gay man," Orlando Cruz became what is believed to be the first boxer to come out while competing. "I developed physically and mentally to take a big step in my life and in my profession … that is so macho," he said Thursday. "I kept this hidden for many, many years."

The only other pro to say he had relations with men and women was ex-welterweight champ Emile Griffith. That was in 2005, 25 years after his last bout.

Cruz, 31, is the No. 4-ranked flyweight by WBO. He praised his family for its love, specifically his father: "Like every father, he wants his son to be a full-blooded man. But he is aware of my preference, my taste."

NBA

Fear of flying keeps Rockets rookie away

Rockets rookie forward Royce White has not reported to training camp and said he and the team are working on a plan to address his fear of flying. The 16th overall draft pick out of Iowa State suffers from anxiety. He said he has an agreement with the team to take a bus to select games, pending league approval. The Rockets would not comment beyond a statement that said they are committed to Royce's success and "we will continue to support him now and going forward."

Grizzlies: Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, wife Ashley and former NBA player Penny Hardaway will be among the new minority owners, the Associated Press reported. Manning played at Tennessee. Hardaway was born in Memphis and played for the University of Memphis. They join singer, actor and Memphis native Justin Timberlake as partners with prospective buyer Robert Pera. The league is expected to approve the sale this month.

London game: The Pistons and Knicks will meet Jan. 17 in London, the third regular-season game in the city. The Raptors and Nets played twice in March 2011.

Et cetera

WNBA: Maya Moore scored 20 to lead host Minnesota past Los Angeles 94-77 in Game 1 of the Western Conference final. The defending league champ outscored the Sparks 32-16 in the second quarter. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Sunday. Connecticut hosts Indiana in Game 1 of the East final tonight.

Tennis: The world's top two rolled to the quarters of the China Open in Beijing. No. 1 Victoria Azarenka beat Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3, and Maria Sharapova beat Polona Hercog 6-0, 6-2.

Horses: Beholder won the $50,000 feature at Santa Anita by 11 lengths and is being pointed to the Breeders' Cup next month on the same track in Arcadia, Calif. Trainer Richard Mandella said she could run in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint against males or in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.

Times wires

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