Before transition, he fought in the 2012 US Olympic trials. He’s endured physical rehab, chest surgery, the fight to cut through red tape and get licensed as a boxer, and a multiyear journey to get to this point.
But tomorrow night, 33 year old Pat Manuel will step into a ring in Indio, CA and make history.
“We keep being told that to be a high level successful athlete, you have to be born in a man’s body.” says Cyd Zeigler of Outsports. “and that anyone born in a man’s body has an automatic advantage over anyone born in a female body. People like Pat are showing that transgender men can compete at the highest levels against cisgender men.”
“It is not just powerful for the trans community, but it really should open our eyes to the foolishness of the stereotypes we’ve always had about gender in sports.” Zeigler continues.
“I’m not the type of person that is just going in there for a participation trophy, my goal is to win,”said Manuel. “My mindset isn’t really thinking about the history of this. It’s more thinking about going in there and performing as an athlete.”
He’s correct about that point. It isn’t his job to think about the historic trailblazing nature of this bout. Thinking and talking about the history of this event is my job.
He’ll become the first out trans masculine person to box professionally when he takes on Mexico’s Hugo Aguilar tomorrow night. Manuel has already fought an amateur bout as a trans masculine person back in 2016, which he won by decision in three rounds.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens in his first professional bout.
I hope that debut as a professional boxer is a successful one.