Professional boxer Mai Soliman says the two-minute round rule for women… – SBS

Key points
  • 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.
Mai Soliman came to Australia with her family from Egypt when she was nine years old.
In her fourth professional fight against Queenslander, Nicila Costello, on June 30, chose to fight three-minute rounds to match the men’s fights despite world boxing recommendations that women fight two-minute rounds.
The match was the first Australian women’s contest to feature three-minute rounds, thanks to the determination and lobbying of both Ms Soliman and the New Zealand-born Ms Costello.
The fight, which Ms Soliman narrowly won, was supervised by the Martial Arts Sports Association (MASA) and took place at the Revesby Workers’ Club in Sydney.

The flyweight is also in favor of women fighting 12 rounds like men do instead of just 10.

Rule change needed, says fighter

“Men play rounds for three minutes and women play two minutes. My trainer, uro pavic, and launched a campaign to change the rules of women’s boxing. They are supposed to give us a choice. We have more time to fight better (with longer rounds),” said Ms. Soliman, 25.

“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”.

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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.

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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.

Mai Suleiman

He made his professional debut in the 51kg division in early 2022.

Today, after eight years in boxing and becoming a professional boxer, she admits that family support is very important.

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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.

Mai Suleiman

The Sydney-based boxer said she believed learning martial arts was essential for girls in the fight against domestic violence.

“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.

Listen to the story of Egyptian Australian boxing Mai Soliman in the audio file attached to the image above.
Listen to the interview on our , and

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Sage Monroe

Hi there! My name is Sage Monroe and I am a politics and business blog article writer currently studying at the University of Vermont. Writing has been my passion since a young age, and I am fortunate enough to be able to pursue it as a career. I spend most of my time researching and analyzing current events to provide insightful and thought-provoking commentary on a variety of topics. My articles can be found on various blogs and news websites, and I am always looking for new opportunities to share my ideas with the world. When I'm not writing, you can find me hiking in the beautiful Vermont countryside or enjoying a good cup of coffee at my favorite local cafe.

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