When Pat Manuel stepped through the ropes and into the boxing ring at the South El Monte Community Center 13 months ago, it was the last step of a long journey, one that stretched back more than four years to Manuel’s last bout, in the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Along the way he lost his coach and his gym, two jobs and a handful of people he once considered friends.
Pat Manuel gets an injection of testosterone from friend and strength coach Aaron Vasquez in the garage of his residence in Gardena.
A few nights before a possible boxing match, Pat Manuel visualizes a fight scenario in a swimming pool after a workout in Long Beach.
Pat Manuel checks e-mails at his mothers house in Gardena the night before leaving for Salt Lake City for his surgery.
As Pat Manuel undergoes top surgery, his mother, Loretta Butler, waits outside the operating room in Salt Lake City.
Pat Manuel goes under the knife for top surgery that was paid for by his grandmother.
Loretta Butler sits at the bedside of her son, Pat Manuel, after top surgery in Salt Lake City.
As his mother, Loretta Butler, looks on, Pat Manuel smiles while seeing his nipples for the first time through a compression vest, one day after top surgery in Salt Lake City.
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