Book Review: Born Fighter
By Chris Akers
Boxing can be a reflection of the historical and cultural times at present, as well as the ability of a boxer to come through adversity inside and outside the ring.
Upon reading Born Fighter by Sarah Shephard, the autobiography of former Muay Thai world champion turned boxer Ruqsana Begum, it is clear than she has been through more than most people will have to contend within their lives.
Feeling the pull of two worlds – that of the religious family and of the desire to fight – Born Fighter articulates in detail how Begum was able to navigate between both of these worlds.
From hiding her passion to fight from her parents, attending university, to going through with an arranged marriage, to suffering with ME, the book tells how Begum was able to overcome what life threw at her.
One thing that is clear throughout the book is that while facing these challenges, Begum’s sense of who she is became lost, due to been pulled in all directions in trying to find herself. Yet fighting was the one thing that she enjoyed participating in. The contradiction of combat sports is that as brutal as they can be, the ring can act as a sanctuary for those who are coming from tough backgrounds or who are going through rough times.
This seems to be the case with Begum, as not only does she find enjoyment in competing, she reached a very high standard, becoming a world champion.
Begum’s resolve is evident. For someone to have been through the battles (both physically and mentally) that she has been through and not only overcome them but flourish, shows a determination that bodes well, as she aims to do as well in her boxing career as she did doing Muay Thai.
A very good informative book, Born Fighter is not just for fans of combat sports, but for those who are interested in stories of resilience, of conquering whatever obstacles are in your way, and will act as an inspiration to those who, while being tempted to give up on their dreams, have decided to carry on in pursuit of their goals.
The rewards of reaching your goal despite adversity are demonstrated very well in this book.