The curious story of the African-American boxer who first competed as a woman

Patricia Jean instilled in her love for boxing her grandson Patricio Manuel, who has not stopped fighting in the ring in the midst of a radical change in his life.

The Latin boxer Patricio Manuel has left a great mark on boxing for being the first person to compete in this sport as a woman and as a man. His love for this discipline began at 16 years of age when his grandmother gave him a pair of gloves at Christmas: at that time he was called Patricia.

At 32 years of age he has had to overcome all kinds of challenges, but boxing has given him the strength to succeed and excel. In statements to Agencia Efe, registered by the Diario El Colombiano, he said that pugilism has become a liberation for his life.

Leer en español: La curiosa historia del boxeador afroamericano que primero compitió como mujer

His first forays into boxing

Patricia, from Long Beach, started her boxing career at 16 years old and was focused on becoming a professional boxer. With Mexican, Irish and African-American descent, a combination of great boxing tradition runs through his blood.

The Irish Loretta Butler is her mother and in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, recorded by Emol, said that his son had always been a man.

Thanks to his hard work and his constant efforts, he was part of the North American Olympic team that was going to London 2012. However, a shoulder injury truncated that great possibility.

From that moment he decided to change his life, since he felt like a man in a woman's body and bet on a gender change. According to a report released by, she won 49 victories as a woman and suffered two defeats in her sports career.

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His grandmother and his mother, great supports

In her adolescence her grandmother gave her a membership in the Commerce Boxing Club, where she met her manager Roberto Luna. Patricia Jean, her grandmother, had always seen the masculine tastes of her granddaughter and encouraged boxing in her by taking her to the gym and giving her some gloves.

They commented that there was the option of a gender change and, with that, the possibility of representing the country in a first level Olympic competition. After the defeat and her absence in the Olympics, Patricia paid the 6 thousand dollars of the operation to her granddaughter to become a man . indicated that Pat began a hormonal treatment, increased 5 pounds, increased her beautiful facial and her voice became more severe.

He faced new difficulties

After his change, he had problems getting a job and, due to his condition, lost several friendships and permits to box. Daniel Sánchez, his coach, told EFE in publication made by that many gyms did not want to work with him.

However, coach Víctor Valenzuela gave him the opportunity to compete and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) established a new rule. This norm determined that transsexual athletes had the right to compete in any contest and it was not necessary to operate to participate.

The fights against men

After the change of gender Pat has had two combats: the first of them with the juvenile Carlos Ochoa, whom he defeated in nine minutes. On that occasion he wore a protective helmet, but showed each of his conditions in the ring by showing speed and good punch.

This evening was historic, because it was the first boxing match in the United States to have a boxer who fought as a woman. The next match he lost, but he continues to train and prepare with the aim of fighting in the best squares in the world, now as a man.

Latin American Post | Daniel Cuevas

Translated from "La curiosa historia del boxeador afroamericano que primero compitió como mujer"

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