||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (March 2011)|
Laila Ali modeling in the 2011 Heart Truth fashion show
|Rated at||Super middleweight, 72.5 kg|
December 30, 1977 |
Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
|Wins by KO||21|
Laila Amaria Ali (born December 30, 1977) is a retired American professional boxer. She is the daughter of retired heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali of his third wife, Veronica Porsche Ali. Laila is the second to last of her father's nine children and his youngest daughter.
Boxing career 
Ali began boxing when she was 15 years old, after having first noticed women's boxing when watching a Christy Martin fight. She first publicized her decision to become a professional boxer in a Good Morning America interview with Diane Sawyer. On the show Ali shared, "I've been contemplating doing it since I was 18, ever since I found out that women boxed."When she first told her father, Muhammad Ali, that she was planning to box professionally, he was unhappy about her entering such a dangerous profession. However, Laila assured him she would be fighting women, not men, and she had his genetics.
In her first match, on October 8, 1999, the 5'10", 166 lbs, 21-year-old Ali boxed April Fowler of Michigan City, Indiana. They fought at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino on the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, New York. Although this was Ali's first match, many journalists and fans attended, largely because she was Muhammad Ali's daughter. Attention to Ali's ring debut was further boosted because it occurred on the eve of what was supposed to be the first male-female professional bout ever to be sanctioned by a US state boxing commission ... later ruled an exhibition. As WomenBoxing.com explains: "The near-alignment of the two events focused more attention on female professional boxing than there had been since Christy Martin's 1996 pay-per-view fight with Deirdre Gogarty." Ali knocked out April Fowler - described by WomenBoxing.com as an "out-of-shape novice" - in the first round.
Ali also won her second match by a TKO with only 3 seconds left on the clock. In that match her opponent was 5'4" Shadina Pennybaker, from Pittsburgh, who was making a pro debut after earning a 2-1 record as an amateur. They fought at the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort in Chester, West Virginia.
Ali captured eight wins in a row and many boxing fans expressed a desire 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. This match by Ali and Frazier was the first pay-per-view match between two black women. During that match, Joe Frazier (Jackie's father) was there to watch his daughter fight. Muhammad Ali (Laila's father) was not there but Laila's mother Veronica Ali was present to watch the fight.
On November 8, she retained that title and unified the crown by adding the WIBA and IWBF belts with an eight-round TKO win over her division's other world champion, Valerie Mahfood, in Las Vegas. Ali stopped a bloodied Mahfood in eight rounds.
On June 21, 2003, Mahfood and Ali fought a rematch, this time in Los Angeles. Once again bloodied by Ali, Mahfood lost by TKO in six rounds while trying to recover her world title. Nevertheless, for the first time in Ali's boxing career, she suffered a bad cut on her right eyelid and a bloodied nose, inflicted by Mahfood, something no other female boxer has done to Ali to this day.
On July 30, 2004, she stopped Monica Nunez in nine rounds, in her father's native city of Louisville, Kentucky. 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, Ali added the IWBF Light Heavyweight title to her resume by beating O'Neil (whom she had earlier canceled a fight against) by a knockout in three rounds, at Atlanta, Georgia. Ali's success led her into a TV show guest star spot in a boxing episode of George Lopez.
On June 11, 2005, on the undercard to the Tyson-Kevin McBride fight, 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 Ali-Toughill bout 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 Toughill joked about Ali. Ali promised she would punish Toughill, much like her father did with Ernie Terrell back in 1967.
On December 17, 2005, in Berlin, Ali fought and defeated Åsa Sandell by TKO in the fifth round. The decision was heavily disputed. 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 October 2006. However, the fight with Wolfe never materialized. Instead, on November 11, 2006, Ali fought and defeated Shelley Burton by TKO in the fourth round. Ali was rescheduled to fight O’Neil in Cape Town, on August 5, 2006, but she[who?] pulled out amid allegations of fraud. Additionally, the local promoter could not raise the final $1,325,000 installment of her $1,525,000 purse. The South African government is investigating the fraud allegations, according to an exposé in the Cape Times.
Boxing record 
|24 Wins (21 knockouts, 3 decisions), 0 Losses (0 decisions, 0 retirement), 0 Draws|
|Win||24-0-0||Gwendolyn O'Neil||TKO||1||2007-02-03||Kempton Park, South Africa|
|Win||23-0-0||Shelley Burton||TKO||4||2006-11-11||New York, New York|
|Win||22-0-0||Åsa Sandell||TKO||5||2005-12-17||Berlin, Germany|
|Win||21-0-0||Erin Toughill||TKO||3||2005-06-11||Washington, D.C.|
|Win||20-0-0||Cassandra Giger||8||2005-02-11||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Win||19-0-0||Gwendolyn O'Neil||KO||3||2004-09-24||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Win||18-0-0||Monica Nunez||TKO||9||2004-07-30||Louisville, Kentucky|
|Win||17-0-0||Nikki Eplion||TKO||3||2004-07-17||Bowie, Maryland|
|Win||16-0-0||Christy Martin||KO||4||2003-08-23||Biloxi, Mississippi|
|Win||15-0-0||Valerie Mahfood||TKO||6||2003-06-21||Los Angeles, California|
|Win||14-0-0||Mary Ann Almager||TKO||4||2003-02-14||Louisville, Kentucky|
|Win||13-0-0||Valerie Mahfood||TKO||8||2002-11-08||Las Vegas, Nevada||WIBA, IWBF & IBA title match|
|Win||12-0-0||Suzette Taylor||TKO||2||2002-08-17||Las Vegas, Nevada||IBA title match|
|Win||11-0-0||Shirvelle Williams||UD||6||2002-06-07||Southaven, Mississippi|
|Win||10-0-0||Jacqui Frazier-Lyde||MD||8||2001-06-08||Verona, New York||First Pay Per View boxing card ever to be headlined by women|
|Win||9-0-0||Christine Robinson||TKO||5||2001-03-02||Verona, New York|
|Win||8-0-0||Kendra Lenhart||UD||6||2000-10-20||Auburn Hills, Michigan||First time opponent went the distance|
|Win||7-0-0||Marjorie Jones||TKO||1||2000-06-15||Universal City, California|
|Win||6-0-0||Kristina King||TKO||4||2000-04-02||Guangzhou, China|
|Win||5-0-0||Karen Bill||TKO||3||2000-04-08||Detroit, Michigan||Ali hit the canvas for the first time in her career|
|Win||4-0-0||Crystal Arcand||KO||1||2000-03-07||Windsor, Ontario|
|Win||3-0-0||Nicolyn Armstrong||TKO||2 (60)||1999-12-10||Detroit, Michigan|
|Win||2-0-0||Shadina Pennybaker||TKO||4||1999-10-11||Chester, West Virginia||Pennybaker's pro debut|
|Win||1-0-0||April Fowler||KO||1 (15)||1999-12-08||Verona, New York||Ali's pro debut|
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (November 2012)|
Other top women's boxing champions such as Ann Wolfe (24-1), Vonda Ward (23-1), Leatitia Robinson (15-1 pro; 37-1 am), and Natascha Ragosina (22-0) have claimed in interviews that they have challenged Ali many times over the years, but Ali found ways of avoiding them. Boxing writers and fans have repeatedly expressed disappointment in Ali's ducking the top contenders throughout her career.
In mid-2007, Ali was a participant in season four of the American version of the television show Dancing with the Stars; she had no previous dancing experience. She and her professional dancing partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, were widely praised by the judges, receiving the first "10" from judge Len Goodman for their rumba. They came in third place in the competition, losing to Apolo Anton Ohno (with Julianne Hough) and Joey Fatone (with Kym Johnson).
In 2012, Ali was picked to co-host Everyday Health with Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca. The show airs on ABC Saturday mornings and profiles everyday people living with health issues, who aspire to not let their health keep them from helping others or doing extraordinary things.
Personal life 
Ali was a manicurist at age 16. She graduated from California's Santa Monica College with a business degree. She owned her own nail salon before she began boxing. In 2002, Ali wrote (with co-author David Ritz) the book Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power, meant to motivate and inspire young people. In this book, she confides that she felt isolated at times because of her parents' fame. Ali has also spent some time in jail, and describes her arrests and the physical abuse she experienced in jail. Critics say that Ali's book has a good foundation but she does not give the readers advice; rather she just talks about her own experiences.
Ali married Johnny "Yahya" McClain on August 27, 2000. She met McClain through her sister Hana at her father's 57th birthday party. McClain became Ali's manager and helped guide her career. In late 2005, Ali and McClain divorced and McClain quit managing Ali.
On July 23, 2007, Ali married former NFL player Curtis Conway in Los Angeles. They have two children together, son Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr (born August 26, 2008) and daughter Sydney Jurldine Conway (born April 4, 2011). Ali is stepmother to Conway's thee children: twin sons Cameron and Kelton (born 1995) and daughter Leilani (born 1999).
Ali is also credited with saving the life of American Gladiators co-host and wrestling legend Hulk Hogan by telephoning him when he was depressed and suicidal - a call which Hogan (in his book My Life Outside The Ring) claims "snapped me out" of an acute suicidal "trance".
- Like dad, Ali's daughter rules the ring, accessed: 2008-01-12
- "Laila Ali Biography". Women's Boxing. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- TIMOTHY W. SMITH (February 23, 1999). "BOXING; Another Ali Enters the Ring: His Daughter". The New York Times.
- Weiss, Neal Default Gets Inside The Head Of Muhammad Ali's Daughter Yahoo! Music (April 7, 2002). Retrieved on 3-24-10.
- unknown (February 20, 2007). "Meet the New Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars". ABC.com Dancing with the Stars. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
- "Laila Ali and Hulk Hogan are confirmed as new presenters of American Gladiators". Gladiators Zone. 2007-10-31. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
- David Ritz and Laila Ali (June 2002). Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power (1st ed.). Hyperion. ISBN 978-0786868551.
- References Ali's marriage and her stepchildren
- Hulk Hogan and and Mark Dagostino (November 27, 2009). My Life Outside the Ring. ASIN B004S7QBIG. More than one of
- NetGlimse.com (2009). Laila Ali - Biography . Retrieved October 8, 2010 from http://www.netglimse.com/celebs/pages/laila_ali/index.shtml
- CBS Interactive (2010). Laila Ali FOLLOWS BOXING CAREER OF LEGENDARY FATHER MUHAMMAD ALI. Retrieved October 10, 2010 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_21_95/ai_54727854/
- Andrew Rooney. (2003). Years of Minutes. New York: Essay Productions. Retrieved from NetLibrary database.
- Boxing. (2003). In Black Firsts. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/blackfirsts/boxing.
- Lexis Nexis. (2009). Laila Ali. Retrieved from Lexis Nexis database.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Laila Ali|
- Laila Ali's Official site
- Professional boxing record for Laila Ali from BoxRec
- Laila Ali at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Laila Ali 2007
- Interview with Laila Ali on "Talk with Audrey.com" about hosting Everyday Health TV 2012
|2nd IWBF World Super Middleweight Champion
November 8, 2002 – 2007
|2nd WIBA World Super Middleweight Champion
November 8, 2002 – 2007
Title next held byNatascha Ragosina
|New award||1st WBC Female World Super Middleweight Champion
November 11, 2006 – 2007
Mike Adamle (1989–96)
Dan Clark (1995–96)
|Host of American Gladiators
with Hulk Hogan
2008 – present
|Awards and achievements|
Joey Lawrence & Edyta Śliwińska
|Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 4 (Spring 2007 with Maksim Chmerkovskiy)
Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts