Sports Against All Odds

By Gülsin Ketenci

Gülsüm Tatar, The Champion

Gülsüm Tatar might be Turkey's greatest ever boxer. But she has spent years struggling for respect, recognition, and support. Boxing is not hugely popular in Turkey—women’s boxing, even less so. Gülsüm can’t attract significant sponsorship that could help her fight abroad. There is no professional boxing federation to offer support. She has to balance her boxing training with a full-time job as a physical education teacher. She says her proudest moments are when she hears that girls have started boxing because of her: “With the punches I throw, I am changing the viewpoint of society.”