A boxer has made history after becoming the first transgender male to fight professionally in the US.
American super-featherweight Patricio Manuel won his bout against Mexican Hugo Aguilar with a unanimous judges‘ decision.
Manuel, from Los Angeles, said: „I wouldn’t trade any of it. It was worth everything I went through to get to this point. I’m a professional boxer now.“
The 33-year-old added: „It’s a high right now. I’m just really happy. This is the definition of true happiness in this moment.“
Manuel was cheered on by nearly 70 friends and family members in Indio, California.
He insisted on no special treatment before or during Saturday’s fight and requested that ringside commentators not mention he was once a woman, the Desert Sun newspaper reported.
It said scars from surgery were visible on Manuel’s chest and abdomen when he stepped into the ring.
Manuel fought in the 2012 US Olympic trials as a woman, but a shoulder injury ended the athlete’s attempt to make the team for the London Games after just one bout.
Manuel began transitioning several months later, and after surgery and hormone treatments got through the bureaucracy of getting licensed to fight.
California boxing authorities were wary of granting Manuel a licence.
But once the International Olympic Committee ruled before the 2016 Rio Games that female to male transgender athletes could compete „without restriction“ the way was cleared for him.
Aguilar, who was fighting in the US for the first time, learned of Manuel’s transition just two days before the bout, the Los Angeles Times reported.