Laila Ali was born December 30, 1977 in Miami Beach. She is the daughter of Muhammad Ali and his third wife Veronica Porsche Ali. She was their second child and is the most famous of the nine children born to Muhammad Ali. She is a professional boxer.
In her first bout, on October 8, 1999, Ali knocked 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. Ali won by a majority judges` decision in eight rounds.
After a year`s hiatus, on June 7, 2002 Ali 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. (The Laila Ali - Erin Toughill match is considered one of the most violent female to female fights in history.) 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.
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.
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