Patricio Manuel competed on Saturday as the first out transgender boxer in U.S. history, eventually winning the super-featherweight match against his cisgender opponent.
The 33-year-old Los Angeles native, who competed six years ago in the Olympic trials before transitioning, defeated Hugo Aguilar at a casino in Indio, Calif. After both Manuel and Aguilar got in 12 minutes of hits, judges unanimously awarded Manuel the victory.
Manuel's win was even sweeter considering the prejudice he faced after he began transitioning -- the athlete lost both his coach and training facility upon coming out, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Manuel expressed jubilation at not only his victory, but the opportunity to fight as himself.
“I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point,” Manuel told the Times. “I’m a professional boxer now.”
Even his opponent, Aguilar, expressed support for Manuel. “For me it’s very respectable,” he said. “It doesn’t change anything for me. In the ring he wants to win and I want to win too.”
Manuel, emboldened, said he plans to soon fight again.