Meet Amaiya Zafar: The 16-year-old amateur boxer who’s fighting to compete in hijab

Amaiya Zafar is a 16-year-old amateur boxer from Minnesota. When Zafar boxes, she wears her hijab, a long-sleeved shirt and leggings underneath her shorts and tank top.

Zafar had a rude awakening in September when she wanted to compete in a USA Boxing-sanctioned event, but couldn’t due to an international boxing rule stating that boxers can’t cover their arms or legs below the knees.

As a result, Zafar, her family and CAIR pushed USA Boxing to request a provisional ruling from the International Boxing Association to let her box in modest clothing. The USA Boxing Executive Director Mike Martino told the Star Tribune the rule is in place for safety reasons and doesn’t think it will change anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Zafar continues to train at a local gym as well as help other women and youth take on the sport. She recently created a LaunchGood campaign to raise funds for her boxing career.

In her campaign, she says:

“I train as if I have a fight everyday. I work to keep myself at my very best and to keep God first. When the time comesI will be ready to fight my hardest!”