- Mai Soliman has been boxing since high school after immigrating to Australia from Egypt at the age of nine.
- She says that the women’s rounds should last three minutes, just like the men’s.
- To prove her point, she recently fought fellow flyweight Nicila Costello using three-minute rounds.
The flyweight is also in favor of women fighting 12 rounds like men do instead of just 10.
Rule change needed, says fighter
“Hopefully (boxing’s top bodies) will eventually allow women to be able to fight three minutes or at least allow them to have that option.”
She said she hoped boxing authorities would standardize the rules, regardless of whether it was a men’s or women’s fight, such as in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) or Muay Thai.
Credit: Mai Suleiman
She described the two-minute limit as “illogical, of course, because a three-minute round for men is also a risk for them. I think women fight better, are in better physical condition and fight with more passion.”
“I have been fighting for three minutes in each round during training. I also practice jogging and swimming to improve my physical condition before the matches”.
Credit: Mai Suleiman
Born in Cairo, Ms Soliman said her first passion had been swimming, which she started at the age of four.
“I won a championship in Egypt and then immigrated to Australia with my family when I was nine years old. I continued to be involved in swimming and competed in New South Wales and at a national level,” she said.
Mai and her father, Yahia Soliman. Credit: Mai Suleiman
She said she discovered boxing in her later years at Blakehurst High School and began attending the Kostya Tszyu Boxing Academy at the nearby Rockdale PCYC.
“I started there and trained with the likes of Tim Tszyu, Nikita Tszyu and George Kambosos. It was something I always wanted to try when I was younger, so no one really introduced me to the sport,” he said.
I discovered my passion for boxing and got into the game, but I didn’t tell my mom.
Today, after eight years in boxing and becoming a professional boxer, she admits that family support is very important.
Ms. Soliman (second from right) with her sisters, Lina (left) and Nada (right), and their mother, Heba Hilal (far right). Credit: Mai Suleiman
“My partner, mom, dad and sisters are very supportive of me. My mother cooks for me and I attend tournaments and I really appreciate that,” said Ms. Soliman.
Combat sports are tough but we learn to defend ourselves in games. We don’t come into the game just to take hits.
“I (talk to) young girls from schools in the private gym (Darkside Gym at Stanmore) and tell them that you need to learn a sport to be able to defend yourself in any difficult situation,” she said.