The 25-year-old is forging a growing reputation in France and dreams of Olympic gold but laments her exile from Iran, where the idea of a woman boxing is frowned upon.
Sadaf Khadem came from the mountains and underground gyms of Tehran to Royan, a seaside town in south-west France, so that she could have the freedom to fight. She came alone. In the salty air of Royan, she respectfully replaced the hijab with a blue headguard and gumshield. Khadem had already pulled on a vest and shorts and boxing boots.