AS Scotland’s first champion Muslim amateur female boxer, Farah Jamil is knocking down cultural barriers as well as opponents.

The 32-year-old holds three prestigious titles in three different weight categories and is now gearing up for her biggest fight yet – representing her country on the international stage.

Farah, from Pollokshields in Glasgow’s Southside, only pulled on the gloves to stay in shape and admits she had no idea how far her talent would take her.

Asian Image: Farah JamilFarah Jamil (Image: Newsquest)

She exclusively told the Glasgow Times: “I joined boxing classes purely to improve my fitness, but after a couple of sessions I realised I could throw a decent punch or two. I moved on to sparring sessions and started to realise the sport was something I could be really good at.

“I began training with a great team who really believed in me and gave me the confidence to keep going. Winning my first fight was a massive achievement and I’ve never looked back.

“I’ve realised the more I put into the sport the further I can go. My schedule is tough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, it has made me into the fighter and person I am today.

"It’s over a decade since I got in the ring for the first time and since then I’ve won a hattrick of elite titles. There’s no stopping me now and I’m determined to achieve as much as possible.”

Asian Image:

Farah recently won her third national title by unanimous decision against Barrhead’s Shannon Lawson to become the Scottish Elite Golden Gloves Light-Welterweight Champion.

READ MIORE: Glasgow street turned into ‘free car park’ claim residents

She credits the hard-working team at Boxers Booth in Govan for spurring her on to greatness.

Farah admits her decision to take up boxing came as a massive shock to her family, but says now hopes her achievements will inspire others from different backgrounds to push back and challenge traditional boundaries. 

Asian Image:

She added: “Initially my family were stunned as culturally it’s not viewed as a sport that Muslim women take part in. Growing up I was always sporty, but I’d never shown any interest in boxing until I went along to the gym. 

“I think some people were surprised that a Scots Asian girl from a Pakistani background was in the ring but hopefully I am helping change attitudes and perceptions. It wasn’t long before my family realised that I was passionate about the sport and now they come along to all of my fights. My parents and husband are my biggest supporters, they are so proud that I’m helping to break down cultural barriers and change the belief that boxing is only for men.”

Farah says she will keep fighting to be a positive role model to women of all ages and ethnicities.

She added: “I hope I can be an inspiration to other young girls, and I’d like to see more people from a wide variety of backgrounds take up boxing. I’m proof that you should never hold yourself back and you can achieve anything if you are dedicated and willing to put in the work. I hope that other young girls will see that you can shatter the glass ceiling and achieve anything you want to - if you believe in yourself.”

READ MORE: SiMBA bosses thank Glasgow supporters – but warn of future cash crisis

Farah is now undertaking a tough training schedule ahead of the Three Nations title with Team Scotland later this month. 

Asian Image:

She added: “I need to be super strict right now to keep my fighting weight at 63kg. I went to Spain for an intensive two-week bootcamp and that was incredible in terms of fitness and focus. I’m very fortunate to have such a good team behind me, I couldn’t do this without their incredible support. 

“Being in the ring there’s nowhere to hide and it’s about your skill as a boxer. It’s a tough sport that demands the very best of you and I’ve suffered a broken nose, bruised ribs, muscle tears and sprains along the way, but that’s all part of the fun.

“There’s still a lot I want to achieve in the ring and there’s still plenty of gas left in the tank, but just helping other women realise that you can be anything you want to be is my proudest achievement.”