Pat Manuel won his first professional fight Saturday as an openly transgender man, making him the first trans male fighter to do so.
“I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point,” Manuel told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m a professional boxer now.”
Manuel, 34, of Long Beach, Calif., won a unanimous decision over super-featherweight Hugo Aguilar at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, near Palm Springs.
Manuel has had a long and arduous road transitioning and then to step into the ring after a two-year layoff is incredible. “It’s a funny thing when just living your truth becomes historic,” he said after the fight.
There were some boos when the decision was announced, likely from fans who are clueless as to what being transgender means and what Manuel had to go through to get to this point.
“I hear some fans aren’t happy,” Manuel said. “It’s OK, I’ll be back. I’ll make them happy then.”
Manuel said he will fight again, but even if he retired now he has already blazed a trail and made a difference for trans athletes everywhere.