Transgender fighter wins in historic pro debut

by Reuters
Monday, 10 December 2018 12:02 GMT

Boxing gloves are on display in the Daniken Fight Gear shop in Vienna, Austria September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Image Caption and Rights Information
Patricio Manuel fought in the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials before he began his transition

Patricio Manuel made boxing history on Saturday night, becoming the first transgender male to fight professionally in the United States.

Manuel, 34, beat Hugo Aguilar by unanimous decision in Indio, Calif., on a Golden Boy Boxing fight card.

Afterward, as he heard some detractors in the audience, Manuel vowed to continue fighting and try to win them over.

“I hear some fans aren’t happy, it’s OK, I’ll be back. I’ll make them happy then,” Manuel said during his in-ring interview.

Manuel began his transition to male shortly after being eliminated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, having withdrawn after one fight with an injury.

He eventually convinced the California Boxing Commission to approve an amateur license after it had hesitated with the unprecedented decision. That led to a pair of amateur fights — he won the first in a three-round decision and lost the second — before his pro debut on Saturday night.

Fresh off the win over Aguilar, Manuel insisted he’s looking to a future in the ring.

“I’m not in here just for one show, for one fight,” he said. “This is something I love. I’m not done with this sport. I’ll be back.”

— Field Level Media

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