My day job? I work in the Forensic Medicine Division at the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore. That’s all I can share with you, unfortunately. Due to the sensitive nature of my job, everything else is pretty much confidential. Sorry!

I end work at 5pm, so that’s just enough time to go home and rest for a bit before hitting the gym. I go to Legends for boxing training on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I go to Habit for strengthening and conditioning on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I picked up boxing in 2014; I was 17 then. I used to play netball in school, but after quitting the sport, I decided to try contact sports purely out of boredom. I googled boxing gyms in Singapore, found Legends Fight Sport, and signed myself up for their classes.

My first class was painful! Pad work and core exercises were so tiring, but I went back after that first session because I wanted to get the basics right. Over time, I found myself enjoying training because the people were friendly and the coaches really knew their stuff.

It was a year into my training that I competed in my first amateur fight. It happened on 28th November 2015. I lost the first round because my hands were down so I kept getting hit in the face, but I stepped up my game and won the fight. I got the best boxer award as well.

Today, my boxing record stands at 10-3. Boxing is part of my life now, and I enjoy it because it’s an individual sport. You’re the only one who can determine if you’re going in the ring to fight, and I like that feeling of being in control of your own destiny.

I think the female boxing scene is growing in Singapore, but it needs to grow more. Even at the gym, the girls do spar with the boys. Maybe you can’t compare them in terms of strength and other physical aspects, but where technique is concerned, we’re pretty much up there.

What’s most important, however, is support from parents. There’s this misconception that your daughter or son will get badly injured in boxing, but that’s not really the case for amateurs. We have protective headgear on, so we’re safer compared to the pro athletes.

But there are days where I go home with some small bruises on my face after a hard day of training. My mom will question me about them, but what can she do about it? I will still continue to do what I love to do, and she can only be supportive of my decision.

Right now my goal is to keep getting better. I hope to one day win medals for Singapore in boxing, but I’m only 21 and still have a long way to go. I have to sacrifice a bit of my social life to get to where I want, but I chose this lifestyle, so I have no complaints.” – Danisha, 21


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Arman Shah

A former travel writer with fond memories of solo adventures in Southeast Asia, Arman is now Founder of The Everyday People. He's also the co-host of Channel Empathy, a podcast about the marginalised in Singapore.