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Transgender fighter wins in historic pro debut

"I'm not in here just for one show, for one fight," boxer Patricio Manuel said. "This is something I love. I'm not done with this sport. I'll be back."
Image: Patricio Manuel
Patricio Manuel, left, became the first transgender male to fight professionally in the United States.Texas Isaiah
By Reuters

Patricio Manuel made boxing history on Saturday night, becoming the first transgender male to fight professionally in the United States.

Manuel, 34, beat Hugo Aguilar by unanimous decision in Indio, Calif., on a Golden Boy Boxing fight card.

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Afterward, as he heard some detractors in the audience, Manuel vowed to continue fighting and try to win them over.

"I hear some fans aren't happy, it's OK, I'll be back. I'll make them happy then," Manuel said during his in-ring interview.

Manuel began his transition to male shortly after being eliminated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, having withdrawn after one fight with an injury.

He eventually convinced the California Boxing Commission to approve an amateur license after it had hesitated with the unprecedented decision. That led to a pair of amateur fights — he won the first in a three-round decision and lost the second — before his pro debut on Saturday night.

Fresh off the win over Aguilar, Manuel insisted he's looking to a future in the ring.

"I'm not in here just for one show, for one fight," he said. "This is something I love. I'm not done with this sport. I'll be back."

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