“I want to be known as one of the greatest female athletes of all time.”

It’s not something you’d expect a 15-year-old amateur boxer to say, but Rianna Doforo has her sights set on making history.

Already a national champion, Rianna has been training with some of boxing’s biggest names.

Born in West Derby, Liverpool, she has made her name in, Doncaster, South Yorkshire where she is training with former professional fighter Stefy Bull and current Women’s WBA and IBO Super-Welterweight champion, Terri Harper.


But things could have turned out so differently for the young boxer as she wasn’t an immediate fan of the sport. When her dad’s friend opened a boxing gym, she would go with him but just take part in the circuits to increase her fitness.

“I’ve always been into sport and took part in running at school, so when my dad offered me the chance to go to his friend’s gym, I said yes,” she said.

“I didn’t really enjoy it at first but when I got the chance to spar, I just wanted to keep coming back.”

It was her developing love for the sport that landed her a chance to work closely with Harper and Bull.

Rianna had been travelling occasionally to take part in group sessions at their gym in Doncaster. An unfortunate injury to world champion Harper provided an opportunity for the youngster. She began one-on-one tuition as the injured Harper developed her coaching portfolio.

She said: “After those sessions, I got a call from Stefy who basically just said do you want to keep coming back up, it was a no brainer really!”

Rianna spoke of her admiration for the two-time champion and how working with her pushes her to be the best she can be.

“She’s done what I want to do, obviously I have a lot of respect for Terri, but I want to go further,” she said.

“Seeing someone achieve what I want has pushed me to be better. Having that role model in the gym is great. She’s a classy person and has got good morals so that also helps.”

Harper is not the only world champion boxer Rianna has connections with. Her dad, Liam, counts former undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather as a friend.

“It’s a bit of a mad story really, my dad is a big Mayweather fan and he got a tattoo of him on his leg,” she said.

“He put it online and it went viral. Mayweather saw it and invited us out to Las Vegas for a fight. It’s just gone from there really, they’re good friends.”

In February 2020, whilst in Vegas, Rianna got to experience what it’s like to be an up-and-coming prospect at the Mayweather gym.

(Permission and photo provided by Rianna Doforo)

“I remember the first time that I went in, I was about 12, it was so loud. It gave me a real sense of how different people handled themselves in the gym,” she said.

“Badou Jack, who is a former world champion, was one of the quietest, but all the young prospects were really loud and working really hard because they had to be, to get noticed.

“You go straight from pads to an hour on the bag and then back in the gym for a circuit. Its unreal.”

Having that experience of being on the pads with Jeff Mayweather made her confidence grow.

She said: “It was unreal because there’s not many young girls who get the chance to do this kind of thing. There was even a camera crew from a boxing channel filming me when I was on the pads with Jeff Mayweather.”

Learning from all these people has put Rianna in good stead for the future. Still based in Liverpool, she is now training six days a week in multiple locations with different people.

“I think that training with all of these people will prepare me well for the future,” she said.

“I’ll have the experience of the professional game before I’m a professional and for me that is important.”

She is currently training for the national championships in March and is hoping to go for gold again. She made her love of the nationals clear.

She said: “My greatest achievement to date is winning the national championships.

“It’s the best thing because all the hard work you put in all year is rewarded and its just a massive relief.”