The world’s first professional transgender boxer has just made history yet again
The world’s first transgender boxer to compete in a professional fight has made history yet again – as he becomes the face of iconic sporting brand Everlast.
Previous faces of Everlast, founded in 1910, have included boxing legends like Sugar Ray Robinson, Jack Dempsey, and Canelo Álvarez.
First professional transgender boxer Patricio Manuel becomes face of Everlast.
As part of Everlast’s campaign, which is called ‘Be First’, Manuel took part in a video for the company in which he discusses his long journey to get to this point.
“I think identity, when we boil it down, it’s who we are, but it’s also how the world perceives us,” he explained in the video.
He added: “It was boxing that brought me back into my body and it was boxing that allowed me to proud of actually what I was physically able to do.”
Patricio Manuel becomes first trans boxer to win professional fight.
In December, Manuel made history when he became the first transgender man to fight at a professional level in US boxing – and he also won the fight.
Speaking after his victory, Manuel said: “It’s a funny thing when just living your truth becomes historic.”
“I think if people knew what it took to get to this moment. It’s been almost two years since I’ve been in a ring,” he added, reports Yahoo.
It’s a funny thing when just living your truth becomes historic.
Manuel’s victory came after a long personal and professional journey for the rising sports star.
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In 2012, before his transition, he competed in the US Olympic trials, but was forced to pull out after sustaining a shoulder injury.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Manuel had put off transitioning as he didn’t know what his future as a boxer would look like if he did.
However, after losing the Olympic trials, Manuel decided to tell his mother that he wanted to transition. She told the Los Angeles Times that she was not surprised, but just relieved.
That conversation put Manuel on the road to living his life how he wanted to live it.
The California State boxing commission was hesitant to allow him to fight, as it had never seen a case like his before.
However, when the Olympic Committee ruled ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016 that female-to-male athletes could compete, he had his amateur licence approved.
He then fought his first fight as a man in 2016, which he won after three rounds. He lost a second fight later in 2016.
After transitioning, Manuel decided he wanted to get back into boxing, but there were some roadblocks in the way.