Pat “Cacahuate” Manuel, a 34-year-old transgender boxer from Long Beach, Calif., will make a bit of history when he fights for the first time as a professional Saturday at Fantasy Springs Casino near Palm Springs.
In a post on Instagram, Manuel says he will be the “first visible transgender man to enter the ring as a professional boxer. It’s been a long time coming and I’m super excited to show the world that I deserve the opportunity to compete against men just like anyone else.”
View this post on Instagram
IT’S ON! Officially making my professional debut next Sat Dec 8 @fantasysprings on @goldenboyboxing fight card. Much appreciation to everyone who has been supporting me throughout and for Golden Boy for giving me this opportunity. I’m prepared to give it my all in the ring. PLEASE help spread the word! Let’s show the world that transgender athletes deserve the right to compete in their sport! #letpatfight
Manuel has fought as a man before, in an amateur fight in 2016, and has been petitioning California to allow him to fight professionally, a dream that was just realized. He will fight in a four-round super featherweight bout against Hugo Aguilar. The fight is set to start at 6 p.m. and tickets can be bought for $25. It will also be shown on Facebook live, QVoice News reports.
The Los Angeles Times chronicled Manuel’s grueling transition and his prior dreams of fighting in the 2012 Olympics for the U.S. women’s boxing team. He made the Olympic trials in 2012 but was sidelined by an injury.
Manuel also has a GoFundMe page to help him defray the costs of training.