By Richard Hack
The Everlast Company, the iconic maker of professional prizefighters’ shorts and gloves has selected transgender male fighter Patricio Manuel, as the new face for its “Be First” advertising campaign. Manuel is the world’s first male professional boxer who is transgender and last year won his first match in the pro ring against Mexican Super-Featherweight Hugo Aguilar by a decision.
Everlast, whose history dates back to 1910, is the world’s leading manufacturer and licensor of boxing, mixed martial arts and fitness equipment. The company says Manuel is part of its “new crop of trailblazers,” and is following in the footsteps of iconic boxers like Jack Dempsey and Sugar Ray Robinson.
“At a time when transgender people are being questioned whether we have a place in the sporting world or even being recognized by the world at large, for Everlast to endorse me is huge,” Manuel said. “It’s a bold statement and I think it personifies the saying ‘Be First.'”
“I really hope it pushes other companies to think outside the box. This world is so incredibly diverse, we all deserve to have our identities and stories highlighted.”