Tina Akhondtabar's face has an enchanting beauty. At first glance it is nearly impossible to apprehend how fierce this charming face can be when in the boxing ring. Tina seems to be at ease only after defeating her opponent with a punch.

The Bangabandhu international professional boxing tournament will be held in Dhaka this 23 December. The competition has been dubbed ‘Bangabandhu Boxing Festival’. Bangladesh Professional Boxing Society is the orgainser of this tournament.

It is to participate in this tournament that the Iranian professional boxer Tina has arrived in Dhaka. Apart from being a boxer, Tina has another identity. She is also a popular film actress in Iran.

Poster of the film 'Motel Ghoo', which breought immense fame to Tina Akhondtabar.

Tina has acted in quite a few Iranian films. Of them, ‘Motel Ghoo’, ‘Scandal’, ‘Baz’, ‘Talagh Be Sabke Irooni’ these films are quite popular in that country. Tina rose to immense fame in the role of a humble young woman Saye in the romantic-comedy film ‘Motel Ghoo’.

Boxer Tina was found in the press conference room of Bangabandhu stadium on Wednesday. Instead of hijab (headscarf) there was a dreadlock-styled braid on her head. She held a belt in her hand.

Tina shared the interesting story of her turning into a boxer from an actress saying, “My boxing career began seven years ago. A director offered me the role of a champion female boxer. But I replied, I don’t know boxing, how will I act?”

“Then I started learning boxing. At one point, I began taking interest in boxing and fell in love with it. Since then I have been a regular boxer,” she added.

Boxing is banned in our country. Women do kick boxing, karate, judo and wrestling. But, it’s impossible to even think of entering the boxing ring. I train secretly at home or sometimes at the park.
Tina Akhondtabar, Iranian actress come boxer.

Boxing is banned for women in Iran. Yet, Tina doesn’t stop training. She said, “Boxing is banned in our country. Women do kick boxing, karate, judo and wrestling. But, it’s impossible to even think of entering the boxing ring. I train secretly at home or sometimes at the park.”

In Iran, a young woman named Mahsa Amini died in police custody last September for breaking the strict dress code. And an anti-hijab movement is going on for more than two months in Iran. The hijab law is quite strict in Iran, running under the conservative Islamic rule.

So, Tina never gets out of the home without hijab while in the country. She said, “Actually, our government and state do not like that. So, I never break the law. And never cross the line. So I don’t face any problem in moving around there.”

Till now, Tina has participated in eight professional tournaments and has won five of them. In Dhaka, she will be playing against Bangladeshi boxer Tazreen Akhter. However, she said she doesn’t have much knowledge of Bangladeshi boxing.

Iranian actress come boxer Tina Akhondtabar.

“I have participated in boxing tournaments in India three times. But, I have zero idea about Bangladesh. I have come here to gather some new experience,” she confessed.

There’s always a risk of injury in the combat sport of boxing. Even Tina got seriously injured once by a punch of her opponent in the boxing ring. She said, “I had broken my nose once. That was an awful experience. I got so scared thinking that my acting career would be finished if my face is disfigured.”

Tina did her Masters in accounting from Islamic Azad University of Tehran. Her father is a carpet trader. Her father supports her interest in sports.

She said, “My father has given me freedom in everything. He never says, don’t do this or don’t do that. Everyone from my family is happy with me boxing.”

Tina dreams of being the world champion in the female category of professional boxing one day. “I wish to be the champion as the first ever woman boxer of my country. I actually enjoy boxing so much.”