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Transgender boxer Patricio Manuel disappointed but defiant after first-round knockout

Transgender professional boxer Patricio Manuel fights Hien Huynh Walter Pyramid Long Beach California
Transgender professional boxer Patricio Manuel fights Hien Huynh Walter Pyramid Long Beach California

Patricio Manuel remained defiant after he suffered the first loss of his career last week. The first out transgender boxer in U.S. history was knocked out by Joshua Bryan Reyes 21 seconds into a bout in Indio, Calif., on April 4. Despite the quick exit, Manuel took to social media to assure fans he was not going to hide or step away from the ring.

Saying he was “deeply disappointed” by the loss and suffering from a “bruised ego,” Manuel refused to bow his head in shame.

“I’ve never been one to play it safe and sometimes that means I fail,” he wrote. “And life has taught me over and over again that failure will not break me.”

Manuel appeared in the opening fight of the Golden Boy Fight Night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino 25 miles southwest of downtown Palm Springs. He was sent to the canvas by a sharp punch to the chin by Reyes 21 seconds into the fight, according to Outsports. He struggled to regain his footing, and the referee stopped the fight.

Manuel was a five-time U.S. national champion in the amateur women’s division. When a shoulder injury forced his withdrawal from the women’s boxing trials for the 2012 Olympics, Manuel took the opportunity to embrace his gender identity.

He spoke of his journey in a 2019 video made for the Everlast “Be First” campaign.

“So many of us are being forced into these restrictive boxes of identification, but very few of us actually fit,” Manuel said in the video. “And I want to see all of us be celebrated when we fight against those specific restrictive norms.”