Boxing to introduce new transgender category in 2023, but WBC chief says fighter safety is top priority

THE World Boxing Council plans to introduce a new transgender category in 2023.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has called on transgender fighters to come forward to encourage more inclusion.

American transgender boxer Patricio Manuel


American transgender boxer Patricio Manuelcredit:

Under the new proposal, trans athletes will not be allowed to finish against non-trans athletes and the “at birth” rule will apply.

This means that transfighters born male can only compete with other transfighters born male.

Sulaiman told The Telegraph, “There will likely be a global call to interested parties in 2023 to set protocols, start consultations and create leagues and tournaments.

“Now is the time to do this and we are doing this for safety and inclusiveness.

“We are the rules leaders in women’s boxing and thanks to the rules we are introducing, there will never be a danger of a man fighting a woman.

“In boxing, men fighting women should never be accepted, regardless of gender change.

“There should be no gray areas in this and we want to approach it with transparency and the right decisions.

“A female-to-male or male-to-female transgender change is never allowed to fight against a different gender at birth.”

The British Boxing Control Board will also consider a transgender policy, but has pledged to adopt a ‘at birth’ policy.

BBBofC Executive Director Robert Smith said: “At this point, this is hypothetical, but it could happen and we are considering transgender policies.

“It’s what you were born with, just like rugby union is. When it does [happen] I’m going to come in with a perfect posture.

“Medical, and perhaps more importantly, legal considerations need to be taken into account.”

Patricia-born Patricio Manuel was a five-time U.S. women’s amateur champion before qualifying for the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics.

Manuel began hormone therapy in 2014, underwent sex reassignment surgery the following year, and made his professional debut as a male boxer in 2018.

He defeated Hugo Aguilar in points in California, but hasn’t boxed since.

Sulaiman added, “We will never allow a male-born transgender to fight a female-born woman.

“But we are creating a set of rules and structures to allow transgender boxing.

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Originally from Enfield, London, Britain’s first transgender boxer, Danny Baker, was born female but transitioned in her twenties.

Barker has fought in white-collar events, but is not licensed to box professionally by the BBBofC.

Danny Baker, Britain's first transgender boxer


Danny Baker, Britain’s first transgender boxerCredit: @dboypromotions_87

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