Transgender pro boxer Patricio Manuel is the new face of Everlast.
The 34-year-old made history in 2018 as the first male transgender boxer to win a professional fight. Now he’s joining other trailblazing athletes as one of the faces of Everlast’s new inclusivity campaign. He said he risked everything to be able to compete as a male boxer.
“I think a lot of people in boxing who I talked to, they would come to me and say, ‘You could have been, you know, one of the greatest female world champions, though you would throw it all away to be yourself.’ And I tell them, ‘That’s how bad it felt living that lie,’” he explained. “It if meant that much to me to risk the love of my life, boxing, then they knew that it was something that was valid. Living your truth is going to hurt. But it’s worth it.”
While transitioning, Manuel reportedly lost his coach, his gym, and two jobs, along with friends and acquaintances.
“So many of us are being forced into these restrictive boxes of identification, but very few of us actually fit,” he explained. “And I want to see all of us be celebrated when we fight against those restrictive norms.”
In addition to Manuel, other athletes showcased in Everlast’s campaign include Fransonet Martinez, a fighter with an amputation, and undefeated immigrant boxers from the Balderas family.