Ambreen The Girl Boxer Review: Split Decision

January 22, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

2.5ambreen300AMBREEN THE GIRL BOXER: Friday 22nd January, Channel 4, 7.30pm ALERT ME

Fifteen-year-old Ambreen Sadiq is an ABA female national champion. That’s Amateur Boxing Association champion to you and me.

She is also the first female Muslim boxer in the country. This ‘niche’ 30-minute documentary packs a nice punch but is it groundbreaking?

After winning the 2009 ABA championship final (the accompanying footage shows she’s not someone to mess with) her opponent, known only as ‘Bobbie Clarke’, wants a rematch.

“Bobbie Clarke is a strong girl and she’s going to want to avenge that loss,? Ambreen’s trainer Naz Jahil says. Whoever Bobbie Clarke is, she’s barely seen in this half hour, merely spoken about like a Fight Club member until the erm, actual fight.

Ambreen’s family makes it clear of their support for her daughter’s pastime. “Since she was a baby she had a habit of putting her hand up to her chin and then down again. I looked at her and said, ‘She’s a boxer!'” says her father.

That’s all well and good but the Muslim community has other thoughts. “I know I shouldn’t show my arms and legs off, but I’m not doing it to show the whole world, I do it because I enjoy boxing and it’s what I want,? says Ambreen.

There’s no denying Ambreen is headstrong. When she arrives at a womens boxing camp (hardcore) she complains the training is too ‘simple’. Coach Naz (not that Naz!) loses hope as he hurls a deck of playing cards against the wall.

“You can be fit as a witch’s dog but if you’re not mentally ready, then you’re not gonna win,? he continues. After a final pep talk with Naz, telling her she’s ‘peaked to early,’ you get the feeling he’s peaked too late as he drives home into the sunset on a ‘mid-life crisis’ motorbike. Just bizarre.

It’s the day of the fight and we finally see the vengeful Bobbie Clarke, although at first I thought she was just one of the supervisors. Honestly, I could probably take her out with one finger (granted that finger would have to belong to Mike Tyson).

Will Ambreen win (again)? Does she gain the support of the Muslim community? And finally, just how fit is a witch’s dog? Answers in the comment box please…