Boxer Rob Newbiggin is preparing for the biggest challenge of his life—and we're not talking about his next fight.
Newbiggin, 44, has announced that he will undergo a sex change to live his life as a woman named Mercedes.
The August 14 against Michael Gomez fight was his last one as a man, reports Boxing Fanhouse. While sports bloggers are having fun quipping lines like, "You wouldn't hit a girl, would you?" Newbiggin, with his wife and kids, is struggling with the trauma the sex change will inflict on them. Indeed his wife Emma is sticking by him; Newbiggin has said, "Emma has been my rock. She understand what I am going through and we are going to stay together." Portrait Of An Open Marriage
Counterintuitively, one of the biggest reasons Newbiggin has cited for the change is that he feels it will make him a better father to his three children. "I think I'll be a better parent as a woman," he says. "I haven't provided enough financial stability in my male life for my children."
Newbiggin has said that he has "lost every friend" he had as he prepares to make his transition. He reports that his children have suffered teasing and humiliation and that even when he's out for runs, people shout cruel things at him in the streets. The taunts have become so damaging that he and the family plan to leave their hometown of Southport, England.
Meanwhile, the show must go on. After his last male fight, Newbiggin will apply for his boxing license as a female fighter.
Photo via Getty Images.