Transgender man won his historic boxing debut, then called out the idiots who were booing him
Patrick Manuel's historic win in the boxing ring on Saturday night should have been a completely happy moment for him.
However, transphobic crowd members made the occasion bittersweet when they began booing the 33-year-old, who is now the first transgender man to fight professionally in the United States.
The featherweight fighter beat Hugo Aguilar by decision after four rounds in a Golden Boy Boxing promoted event at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Tragically though, the moment was almost overshadowed when a group of boxing fans started to loudly boo him from ringside.
Yet, not willing to allow his big moment to be marred, Manuel took to the microphone to call out his opposers.
"I hear some fans aren't happy," he said in the ring, according to Golden Boy. "It's okay, I'll be back… I'll make you happy then."
He continued to promise to win over his adversaries, claiming: "I've got some naysayers out there that I need to prove that I deserve to be here. I'm not in here just for one show in one fight. This is something I love. I'm not done with this sport and I will be back."
Of his opponent Aguilar, who has yet to win in six bouts, the 33-year-old added: "My opponent… hats off to him. He came here to fight, he fought me like a man, and I have so much respect for him."
He finished off by stating: "Everyone who has been along for this journey over the past six years, really. Thank you so much, I couldn't be here without you. I really needed that support to help push me to this point. There's a lot of people behind my corner, my coaches, my beautiful partner, my family and friends and fans. There are so many people who wanted me to be here and I'm so glad I was able to perform for them."
Despite a number of transphobic crowd members booing him, Manuel still had plenty of supporters; he was cheered on by nearly 70 friends and family members in the match.
He insisted on no special treatment before or during the fight and asked that ringside commentators not mention that he used to be a woman, the Desert Sun newspaper reported.
The athlete reportedly fought in the 2012 Olympic Trials as a woman, but a shoulder injury forced him to withdraw from his attempt to make the team for the London Games after just one bout.
He began hormone treatment to medically transition into a man in 2014, and had surgery in 2015.
His boxing career as a man has not been easy though, with California boxing authorities apparently initially wary of granting him a licence.
However, once the International Olympic Committee ruled before the 2016 Rio Games that female to male transgender athletes could compete "without restriction", his journey to victory became easier.
Congratulations Patrick! May you win many more matches!