A determined teenager who took up boxing just 18 months ago to bring back her confidence after being bullied is preparing for her first ever boxing match.
Huddersfield star in the making Aleira Kiran, aged 14, said she suffered “emotional distress” from her experience – which also led to her moving high schools.
Now much happier since moving to Hipperholme Grammar School – where she’s been since the Easter term of Year 7 – Aleira first took up mixed martial arts before getting the boxing bug after joining Left Jab Boxing Club in Huddersfield.
The talented teen is now preparing for her debut in the boxing ring later this year, with a date and her opponent to be confirmed.
“I was really angry after being bullied, it caused me emotional distress and I wanted something that would rebuild my confidence,” said Aleira, who is using her experiences to mentor her gym’s four- to 11-year-old class.
“After my MMA trainer left for another job in Thailand, my dad suggested I tried boxing as I couldn’t find a gym that was taking on girls doing MMA. As soon as I started boxing, I just loved it.
“I love the adrenalin I get when I’m sparring – especially when they’re more advanced than me. I love the challenge and get such a hype from it.”
Sean Reynolds, owner of Left Jab Boxing Club, said: “Aleira is very determined and enthusiastic. Her strengths are her work-rate and persistent boxing style. She is technically brilliant and has a bright future ahead of her and she’s one of our little prodigies whom we have big plans for in the future.”
Aleira, who trains three times a week with Sean and her boxing-mad dad Shakeel Faraz, has previously taken part in a boxing exhibition where she was voted one of the best boxers of the night.
Business owner Shakeel, aged 38, said: “We want Aleira to go far in the sport that she loves and trains her socks off for. We know our daughter well enough to say… she always gets what she wants! And what she wants is to become a British Olympic champion boxer and turn professional.”
Matt Crouchman, Head of PE at Hipperholme Grammar School, added: “Boxing has helped to build Aleira’s confidence and self-esteem so much. As long as Aleira enjoys it and continues to work hard, we will support her by any means necessary. We just want her to continue loving her boxing.”