Muslim boxer wins fight to wear hijab

A young Muslim boxer in the US has made history, winning her battle to wear her hijab during a competitive match.

Sixteen-year-old Amaiya Zafar took on USA Boxing to get it to change its rules which stated competitors couldn't cover their hair or wear long sleeves.

She said when she looked into the crowd and saw the number of people cheering for her, "it felt like [she] had a purpose".

"When I look over, my coach said, look over at all those kids because you're here for them," she said.

"Win, lose or draw, we won."

Amaiya has been boxing for almost four years, but her first competitive bout was on Saturday (local time), after USA Boxing granted her an exemption for local matches.

While her opponent, Isabella Hendrickson, won the 10-minute-long match, the journey was just as important as the outcome.

"It doesn't matter if I won or lost, my abilities are not part of the equation. It's that I got my chance and that's what matters," Amaiya said.

She hopes people take her battle as inspiration for others who want to wear the hijab, to stand up for what they believe in.

"Don't let arbitrary rules stop you from something that you love. What I did in there today just shows that you know, it's not about the outcome, it's that all girls should have a chance."

The teenager is now planning to challenge the international rules so she can box across the globe.