American transgender boxer Patricio Manuel created history after winning his bout against Mexican Hugo Aguilar in super-featherweight. The 33-year-old former female contender won his debut pro match on Saturday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in California.
For the record, Manuel is the first transgender male to fight professionally in the United States. He won the bout with unanimous 39-37 decision victory.
Manuel fought in 2012 London Olympic trials as a female contingent, but bowed out with a shoulder injury. Months later, he had a series of surgery and hormone treatments to transform into a male physique in five years.
The trouble did not end there as a new license issue was delayed by the bureaucracy. At the same time, coaches were unwilling to work with a trans boxer.
When the International Olympic Committee, prior to the 2016 Rio Games, ruled that female to male transgender athletes could compete, Manuel was cleared for the male competition.
Aguilar, who was fighting in the US for the first time didn’t know his opponent was a woman. He learned about Manuel’s transition just a couple of days before the fight.
However, he said it wasn’t a problem and it doesn’t change anything for him since both fighters wanted to win the bout.