Source - An emotional six-year journey proved worth every step for Patricio nnuel on Saturday when he climbed into the ring at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio to become the first transgender male boxer in U.S. history.
Twelve minutes later he climbed out with a win in his professional debut, pounding out a unanimous decision over Mexican super-featherweight Hugo Aguilar.
Manuel, 33, fought in the 2012 Olympic trials as a female, then months later began the long transition to male. It was a trip that involved surgery and hormone treatments, an endless trail of red tape to get licensed and the loss of a coach and a training facility when neither proved willing to work with Manuel after she became a he.
As an amateur Manuel, of Boyle Heights, couldn’t find an opponent willing to fight a transgender boxer. As a pro it took some help from Oscar De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, to get him licensed.
Then it took the courage of Aguilar to make the fight — Manuel’s first in two years and only his third sanctioned bout since the Olympic trials — happen. Aguilar, who was fulfilling a dream by fighting in the U.S. for the first time, said he learned of Manuel’s transition only two days before the fight but said it wasn’t a problem for him.
Asked what comes next, Manuel promised his journey isn’t over because there’s a new one beginning.
“I’m going to take some time off, enjoy the holidays and then fight at the end of February. That’s the goal,” he said. “I 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.”
Oh man. I can hear the internet haters cracking their knuckles getting ready to write their hit pieces. Here are the two arguments they’re going make: one is that he’s not a real man and two is that in order for him to become a man he took drugs (hormones) which is/should be illegal. My response to those two arguments is: A) shut the fuck up, and B) no one cares. This guy (formerly a girl) fought in the Olympic trials so it’s not like he just juiced up, hopped in the ring and beat the shit out of his opponent. He became a boxer through years of training and dedication, just like everyone else.
So instead of focusing on the negative, put yourself in Patricio’s shoes for a minute and try to imagine what he’s gone through to get where he is. Imagine how he spent his entire life in a gender-induced mind fuck and how difficult that would be. Imagine having to endure multiple surgeries, repeated hormone therapy, and on top of it all a voice in your head that constantly whispers “something’s not right” in your ear like verbal Chinese water torture. Now compare all that to the stuff you go through on a daily basis and see how it stacks up. What I’m trying to say is, let’s give the guy some credit before we tear him down.
Joe Rogan said during round two that Patricio had been dropped by trainers and gyms after they found out that he was transgendered too. Not dropped because he was a dick, dropped because of who he is. Yet despite it all, he persevered and was able to fight at the professional level. Take that, haters. Also, huge shout out Oscar De La Hoya’s company Golden Boy Promotions for going to bat on Patricio’s behalf in order to get him licensed.
I know you’re going to want to see the fight for yourselves, so here it is. Rounds one through four in full. If you don’t have time for all of them watch round three.
Overall, it’s a pretty cool story. Congrats to Patricio and his camp for getting out there and kicking ass. If you’re interested in learning more about his story, he has a 24/7 style bio that’s pretty interesting. Check it out here.