Patricio Manuel, the first male transgender professional boxer, has made history again.
The boxing brand Everlast named Manuel, 34, the face of its company on Thursday — marking the first time a transgender competitor has been recognized in one of its campaigns, according to CNBC.
Following in the footsteps of iconic boxers like Jack Dempsey and Sugar Ray Robinson, who previously worked with Everlast, Manuel joins a “new crop of trailblazers” including an amputee fighter and an immigrant family of amateur boxers for the brand’s inclusive campaign.
This isn’t Manuel’s first time making history.
In December 2018, he was the world’s first transgender boxer to compete in — and win — a professional fight.
Manuel told CNBC that in the early 2000s, he began his career in boxing as a female competitor.
When he was eliminated from the 2012 Olympic trials due to an injury, his time off helped him realize that he did not feel himself — leading to the beginning of his transition.
“Once I realized that I was trans, I knew that I needed to live my life being seen as a man,” Manuel shared.
While Manuel revealed he was “juggling back and forth for a while” on the idea to transition, he knew he “needed to go all-in and risk it all,” he told the outlet.
He shared he didn’t want to be “untruthful,” and for him, “that was competing in the female division because that wasn’t how I saw myself. And if I continued to push off my medical transition, I was doing more harm to myself.”
After a year, Manuel came to the decision to go through with the transition. However, he shared he lost multiple friends, jobs, his gym and his coach.
“Regardless of what your goals are, whether you are trans, whether you are an athlete or not, our dreams have big costs to it, and it all requires risk for us to find that reward,” he said.
While Manuel has already made large strides in the sport, he’s not stopping anytime soon.
“I haven’t made it yet,” he said. “I’m already looking at my next goal.”