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Laila Ali

Date of birth : 1977-12-30
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2011-04-06

Laila Ali is a former professional boxer. She is the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali from his third wife Veronica Porsche Ali.

Early years:

Laila has a total of eight brothers and sisters. She has six sisters, (half-sisters) Rasheeda, Jamilla, Maryum, Miya, Khalilah and older sister Hana (born March 27, 1976 to Ali and mother Veronica), an author and poet. Her two brothers are half-brothers Muhammed, Jr. and Asaad. Laila's father, Muhammad Ali, is a retired three-time world heavyweight boxing champion.

Ali has a degree in business from Santa Monica College and previously owned a nail salon in California before becoming a boxer. She is 5' 10" tall, with a reach of 70.5", and weighs around 175 pounds.

Career:

To much fanfare, she made her debut on October 8, 1999, knocking out April Fowler in the first round. She ran off eight wins in a row, and many boxing fans started talking about wanting to see her square off in a boxing ring with George Foreman's daughter, Freeda Foreman, or Joe Frazier's daughter, Jackie Frazier-Lyde. On the evening of June 8, 2001, Ali and Frazier finally met. The fight was nicknamed Ali/Frazier IV in allusion to their fathers' famous fight trilogy. This fight was the first time a women's boxing fight was the main event of a Pay Per View fight card, and was part of the International Boxing Hall Of Fame induction weekend's activities.

Ali won by a majority judges' decision in eight rounds. She then took off almost one year. On June 7, 2002 (364 days later), she beat Shirvelle Williams by a six-round decision. She won the IBA title with a two-round knockout of Suzette Taylor on August 17 at Las Vegas. On November 9, she retained that title and added the WIBA and IWBF belts by unifying the crown with an eight-round knockout win over her division's other world champion, Valerie Mahfood in Las Vegas.

On June 21 2003, Ali retained the title in a rematch with Mahfood, knocking her out in six rounds. It was announced on June 30, that she would fight Christy Martin on August 23. She beat Martin by a knockout in four rounds.

Ali was to begin 2004 by fighting Gwendolyn O'Neil of Guyana at Abuja, Nigeria. The fight was canceled, however, when Ali's camp learned no airline had flights scheduled to Nigeria on the date she wanted to arrive there.

On July 17 of that year, she retained her world title, knocking out Nikki Eplion in four rounds. Ali dropped Eplion four times before the fight was stopped.

Thirteen days later, she stopped Monica Nunez in nine rounds, in her father's native city of Louisville. This fight was part of the undercard for the fight in which Mike Tyson was surprisingly knocked out by fringe contender Danny Williams

On September 24, 2004, she added the IWBF Light Heavyweight title to her resume by beating O'Neil (whom she had canceled a fight against) by a knockout in three rounds, at Atlanta, Georgia.

Returning to Atlanta on February 11, 2005, Laila Ali scored a commanding and decisive eighth round technical knockout over Cassandra Geigger in a ten-round fight.

On June 11, 2005, on the undercard to the Tyson-Kevin McBride fight, Laila Ali pounded Erin Toughill into submission in round three to remain undefeated, and won the World Boxing Council title in addition to defending her WIBA crown. She was the second woman to win a WBC title (Jackie Nava was the first).Toughill and Ali disliked each other, and prior to the fight, Erin joked about Ali. Laila promised she would punish Erin, much like her father Muhammad did with Ernie Terrell back in 1967.

Came the big night, Toughill realized, from round one, that Ali's anger towards her was very real. She also discovered, too late, that Laila's hand speed was too much for her to endure, and from round one, Laila punished Toughill, Erin was pounded on the face and body with quick, lightning shots. By the time the third round came, Erin's face was bleeding profusely, and her clothes carried stains of blood. Laila finished her brutalization of Erin by landing, to the face, approximately 20 consecutive punches. Referee Joseph Cooper then stepped in and ended the fight. The Laila Ali - Erin Toughill match is considered one of the most violent female to female fights in history.

On December 17 2005, in Berlin, Laila fought and defeated Åsa Sandell by TKO in the fifth round, marking her 22nd win. The decision was heavily disputed however, and the audience booed Ali during her post-fight interview.

While a guest on Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith on June 7, 2006, Ali announced that she would be making a world tour, and said that she was looking forward to fighting Ann Wolfe on an October 2006 date. The fight with Ann Wolfe never materialized. Instead, on November 11, 2006, Ali fought and defeated Shelley Burton by TKO in the fourth round.

On February 3, 2007 in Johannesburg, Ali retained her WBC and WIBA super middleweight world titles, knocking out Gwendolyn O'Neil at 56 seconds of the first round. Ali headlined the first women's professional boxing match in South Africa. She improved to 24-0 with 21 knockouts

Ali was supposed to fight O’Neil again in Cape Town, on August 5, 2006, but she pulled out amid allegations of fraud. In addition, the local promoter couldn't raise the final $325,000 installment of her $525,000 purse. The South African government is investigating the fraud allegations, according to an exposé in the Cape Times.

Laila did fight O'Neil in February 2007, knocking her out in the first round.


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