Patricio Manuel beat Hugo Aguilar on Saturday night at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. becoming the first U.S. professional transgender male boxer to win a match.
Manuel, 33, won in a unanimous decision from the judges. In video captured by Golden Boy Boxing, Manuel’s win was met with boos from the crowd.
“I hear some fans aren’t happy. It’s OK, I’ll be back. I’ll make them happy then,” Manuel said in a post-win interview.
“It’s a funny thing when just living your truth becomes historic.”
— Golden Boy Boxing (@GoldenBoyBoxing) December 9, 2018
Manuel first began fighting as a female in the 2012 Olympic trials but was forced to withdraw after a shoulder injury. A few months later, he decided to transition to male. Manuel faced many challenges on his transition journey including surgery, hormone treatments, getting a new license and losing his coach and training facility after they chose not to work with him after transitioning.
Despite the rocky road, Manuel told the Los Angeles Times that the big win was “worth everything.”
“I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point,” Manuel told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m a professional boxer now.”