Professional career awaits Aussie hijab-wearing boxer

After taking up Thai Boxing just five years ago, Carol Earl says she wants to try her luck as a professional boxer, and the 39-year-old, who wears a Hijab,wants to inspire both Muslim and non-Muslim women to take up the sport.

Carol Earl isn't content with running her own personal training business and a busy home life with husband Wayne and their three kids.

After 25 Thai Boxing bouts she's serious about starting a professional career and has even got a former Australian champion in her corner. 

"Everyone knows who I am now because of my veil and I guess being unique is good."
"The skill of just one punch that Nader Hamden taught me did wonders and I'm looking forward to the gruelling training he's going to put me through," Ms Earle told SBS.

She was brought up in a Muslim household but it was once she met her husband Wayne that her faith in Islam deepened. 

Carol celebrates another title. Next its pro boxing in her sights. Source: SBS

Wayne converted to the religion and three children later he's now helping his wife pursue her dreams in the sport he persuaded her to take up.

"She inspires a lot of women, not just Muslim women but women all over Australia so the inspiration she gives people is something to be proud of," he said.

After so many fights wearing the Hijab, the head covering is like part of her own skin and she says the fact so few female fighters wear one has actually helped her career.

"Everyone knows who I am now because of my veil and I guess being unique is good."

Carol is hoping to her prowess in Thai Boxing will mean victory in the boxing ring. Source: SBS

While women's boxing is now an Olympic sport, some people still feel it's not right for women to trade punches.  That's what trainer Nader Hamden thought until he met Carol. 

"She puts in as much as any guy puts in. So if she's willing to keep doing that I'll train her," the man who won 43 of his 54 professional fights told SBS.

Carol and Wayne Earl with their three children - they love watching her fight. Source: SBS

Husband Wayne was also a Thai Boxer, and it was with his encouragement that Carol decided to take it up.

Their three children have seen many of her fights, but only after Ms Earl realised how excited,  proud and happy they were to see their mum in the ring doing what she loves.

And she'd encourage any women around the country to try putting on the boxing gloves.  

"If there's anyone out there wanting to do it,  just go out and do it because it's probably the best thing they'll ever do." 

Ms Earl is hoping to have her first professional boxing bout in March. 

"If there's anyone out there wanting to do it, just go out and do it because it's probably the best thing they'll ever do."

3 min read
Published 23 December 2014 at 5:06pm
By John Baldock
Source: SBS