Patricio Manuel made double history Saturday: He became the first transgender male boxer to fight professionally, and he won his first match.
Manuel, 33, beat Hugo Aguilar in four-round super featherweight fight at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.
Manuel won by unanimous decision.
‘I’LL BE BACK’
“I’m not in here for one show or fight,” Manuel said during a post-fight interview. “This is something I love. I’m not done with this sport. I’ll be back.”
“It’s a funny thing when just living your truth becomes historic.”
— Golden Boy Boxing (@GoldenBoyBoxing) December 9, 2018
Manuel’s path to the professional boxing ring has been years in the making.
Manuel started fighting in boxing matches in high school, but stopped his career as a female boxer in 2012 with the Olympic trials.
In 2016, two years after having gender-confirmation surgery, Manuel, when he returned to the ring for a three-round match, made history as the first boxer in the U.S. who had transitioned from female to male.
The state boxing commission, however, regulates professional boxing in the Golden State, and it had never encountered a situation like Manuel’s.
It objected to giving Manuel the go-ahead to fight.
Then USA Boxing, the national governing body for amateur fighting, offered a solution. When the International Olympic Committee ruled in 2016 that female-to-male transgender athletes should be allowed to compete “without restriction,” USA Boxing gave Manuel permission to fight.
During the post-fight interview in the ring on Saturday, Manuel heard audience members booing their disapproval at his win. Manuel wasn’t bothered by the negative reaction.
‘I DESERVE TO BE HERE’
“I hear some fans aren’t happy,” Manuel said. “I’ll be back and make you happy then. I have some naysaysers I have to prove I deserve to be here as well.”
Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-294-5996 or [email protected]