Twelve minutes is all it took for history to be further cemented. In four rounds, Patricio Manuel turned a historical victory to a victory in the ring. As the first transgender male to compete in boxing, Manuel won his debut fight against Hugo Aguilar.
Three weeks ago, Manuel made his debut at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Manuel took control of the contest in the second half of the fight to win a unanimous decision.
At 34, Manuel is still a very capable boxer with a lot of in-ring ability left. Technically sound with a stinging jab, he regained control of the fight in the third round after Aguilar capitalized on Manuel getting a little sloppy in the ring. “I would have liked a knockout. I think I was trying to go for that in the second round when I got stupid,” Manuel said. “Then I just fought afterward.” It’s understandable that Manuel had to harness a lot of emotion of realizing his dream after an incredible journey of self-preservation and strength.
Every pioneer experience hardships that are proven to be unnecessary. Manuel had a hard time securing fights as an amateur because opponents would not fight a transgender boxer. That changed with the backing of Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as the big money promoter assisted in getting Manuel licensed and finding him an opponent in Aguilar, who was not bothered by Manuel being transgender and learning of it just two days before the fight. “It doesn’t change anything for me,” Manuel said in Spanish as a part of an LA Times interview. “In the ring he wants to win and I want to win, too.”
There are moments of courage that sports has provided for us throughout the years. So many people have made sacrifices and allowed themselves to face unjust scrutiny and sometimes hatred towards this necessary step in the right direction of a hair and just society. We certainly have a long way to go before society is where we want it to be, but Manuel is another pioneer who should be celebrated forever.
Poemer. 8-time Hug Champion. Pick&Roll Enthusiast. Guardian of Logic and Tact. Apocalypse’s good Brother. Collector of muted souls for Mt. Filtermanjaro.