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Young Indigenous boxer makes history with training in Egypt

Joseph Guenzler -

Rising boxing talent Maylifa Peleseuma has made history as the first Indigenous boxer to undergo training in Egypt.

In October, following her victory in a Scotland international tournament, Ms Peleseuma commenced her training under the guidance of acclaimed women's boxing coach Sally Hassona.

"I met Sally when I was 11, competing in the Golden Gloves Tournament in Brisbane," she told the Cairns Post.

"She's making big waves for women in boxing and over the years she's been keeping updated on my career."

After clinching the International WKA title belt in a victory over Irish boxing champion Molly Concannon in Scotland, Ms Peleseuma journeyed to Egypt to meet with Ms Hassona.

"Sally had connections with the embassy over there and notified them that I was in Egypt to set up a meeting. I got to meet two of the embassy members which was crazy," the Gordonvale State High graduate said.

"We got to go sightseeing between training sessions so we had dinner on the Nile River, went to the Pyramids of Giza, saw the Sphynx and went to the markets."

The 18 year-old champ said she had been excited to travel to Egypt to learn different boxing styles.

"It was quite impressive to see the amount of girls and women doing boxing there," she told the Cairns Post.

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A post shared by Sally Hassona (@trainersally)

"There's a lot of cultural and religious barriers that hinder them but a lot of girls are keen to get into the sport," she said.

Back home, Ms Peleseuma said she wants to inspire the next generation of Australian female boxers, particularly in Far North Queensland.

"One of the reasons I went overseas was because I wanted to show that anything's possible and how important it is to me as an Indigenous person, to overcome barriers," she said.

"I want to be an inspiration to people that they can look up to and say 'She's the one who broke that barrier.'

"I want to be an influence and build a future for the next generation."


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