On the surface, Patricio Manuel looks like any other boxer. Strong build, minimal body fat from hours of road work and sparring and pads, and some scar tissue that tells a story of several years spent in the boxing ring.
But there is one thing that makes Patricio Manuel different, different from any other boxer in history as a matter of fact.
Patricio was born a female.
And the 33-year-old’s victory over Hugo Aguilar at the Fantasy Springs Casino last Saturday marked the culmination of a six-year journey to becoming the first transgender professional male boxer in history.
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Patricio seemed intent on moving even further into his career, with this history defining debut being just the beginning:
“I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point, I’m a professional boxer now.”
While still identifying as a female, Manuel was a national amateur boxing champion and competed in the 2012 Olympic trials before having to withdraw with a shoulder injury.
“I needed all that to happen, I don’t know if I would be able to perform. I think it needed to happen this way. I’m just really glad with the way everything played out.”
After starting hormone therapy to transition to a male, Manuel gained 15 pounds as well as facial hair. Then in the year 2015 Manuel flew to Salt Lake City to have his breasts removed.
Manuel plans on continuing his pro career in 2019
“I’m going to take some time off, enjoy the holidays and then fight at the end of February. That’s the goal. definitely want to keep going. It’s been so long since I fought. The rust has been shaken off. Now it’s time to keep moving.”