Patricio Manuel walks from the locker room into the ring Saturday at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Alvaradomorales 1

Patricio Manuel looked to remain unbeaten as a pro in his first fight of 2024 Thursday in Indio, Calif. But the most accomplished opponent he’s faced to date had a different idea.

Joshua Brian Reyes caught Manuel with hard shot to the chin 21 seconds into the first round in the opening bout of the Golden Boy Fight Night card. The punch put Manuel on the canvas for the first time as a pro. He struggled on wobbly legs to get up but the referee waved it off to end the fight as a technical knockout.

The loss dropped Manuel to the 3-2. Reyes, a 27-year-old Texan who saw 3-fight win streak snapped in his last fight improved to 4-2 with this win. It is also his second career pro win by knockout.

Manuel entered the bout coming off a busy year in the ring in 2023. Last March, he pounded out a four-round decision over Hien Huynh . He followed up in June with a decisive unanimous decision over Alex Gutierrez where Manuel landed nearly twice as many scoring blows as the opponent to win his third straight bout. His efforts in the ring and outside as a role model and advocate earned him 2023 Outsports Transgender Athlete of the Year honors.

Manuel put up a convincing unanimous decision over Alex Gutierrez to get his third win in three pro fight last June – DAZN

He was also vocal on International Transgender Day of Visibility, speaking out on the false “controversy” some tried to make out of the Easter holiday landing on the same day.

Manuel decried those who tried to make the Easter date a problem , while also affirming what keeps him speaking for trans rights, and keeps him training for another chance to compete.

“I walk between so many worlds. But I never enter a room without being my full self,” he stated via Instagram on Sunday. “When I made the choice to no longer compromise my truth for fear of the consequences, I realized that being me – the me I always dreamed to be – was actually an option. I also realized that when I offered this world myself in the fullest, I have so much more to give.”