Sadam Ali

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Sadam Ali
Sadam Ali cropped.jpg
Ali in 2010
Nickname(s)World Kid
Light middleweight
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)[1]
Reach73 in (185 cm)
Born (1988-09-26) September 26, 1988 (age 30)
Brooklyn, New York City,
New York, U.S.
Boxing record
Total fights29
Wins by KO14

Sadam Ali (born September 26, 1988) is an American professional boxer who held the WBO junior middleweight title from 2017 to 2018.

Early life[edit]

Ali was born in 1988 in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised there by his Yemeni-immigrant parents, and has four sisters and a brother. Ali began boxing at the Bed-Stuy Boxing Club in the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant at the age of eight, after being inspired by Yemeni-British boxer "Prince" Naseem Hamed.[2]

Amateur career[edit]

Ali is a Junior Olympic National Champion, a PAL National Champion, a U-19 National Champion, and a two-time New York City Golden Gloves champion.

In 2006, Ali won the National Golden Glove Championship in the featherweight division in 2006 at the age of 17. Ali then represented the United States at the 2006 World Junior Championships, where he won a bronze medal after losing in the semifinal round to eventual gold medalist Yordan Frometa of Cuba by a score of 41-39,[3] in a bout in which two points were deducted from Ali because he was weaving too low.

In 2007, Ali moved up to lightweight and again won the National Golden Glove Championship in his new division.[4] Ali is only the second boxer to win it in two different weight classes in consecutive years in New York. Later that year, he was upset by Jerry Belemontes of Corpus Christi, Texas 13-12 in the quarterfinal round of the U.S. Boxing Championships.[5] However, in August 2007, Ali defeated Belemontes and finished in first place in the lightweight division at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Houston, becoming the first boxer from the five boroughs of New York City to win at the trials since Riddick Bowe in 1988. While this did not immediately qualify him to represent the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he became the sole American lightweight permitted to compete in three Olympic qualification tournaments to be held over the ensuing eight months, for one of the six berths allocated to lightweights from the Americas. Ali was the first Arab-American to represent the United States in the Olympics.

The first of the three Olympic qualification tournaments was the World Amateur Boxing Championship, which was held in Chicago in the fall of 2007. Ali was eliminated in a competitive second round match by Armenia's Hrachik Javakhyan. As only one lightweight from the Americas qualified in Chicago, five berths remained open.

Alleged Cathine controversy[edit]

Three weeks after the Chicago tournament, Ali participated in a "USA vs. China and Kazakhstan" exhibition event held in Zunyi. Ali's doping test at the exhibition returned positive for Cathine, a banned stimulant found in the illegal Yemeni drug Khat.[6] The infraction carried a potential two-year suspension from amateur competition, which would have disqualified him from the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Ali accepted a voluntary indefinite suspension on November 22, 2007. However, he maintained his innocence and appealed to the International Boxing Association ("AIBA") to overturn the test results, Ali hired an attorney to challenge the findings and allegations. Ali argues he had taken Cathine inadvertently after contracting a cold in China, but widespread use of stimulant drug Khat is known among the Yemeni American community. His doctor later admitted medicines he had given Ali, when mixed together could have created the positive test for Cathine.[7] The Olympic Games Committee bars cathine in concentrations of over five micrograms per milliliter in urine. In February 2008, Ali agreed to drop his challenges in exchange for a three-month ban retroactive to the date on which he had originally accepted his voluntary suspension.[8] Since his ban had expired on February 22, 2008, Ali was allowed to participate in the two remaining Olympic qualification tournaments held in the Spring of 2008.

Olympic Qualification[edit]

Ali qualified for the 2008 Olympics by finishing in second place at the AIBA 1st Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in March 2008. He defeated Jesus Cuadro of Venezuela in the quarterfinal round, and Juan Nicolas Cuellas of Argentina in the semifinal round. He lost by decision in the final round to Cuba's Yordenis Ugás by a score of 13-5. round.[9]

On August 11, 2008, Ali was outboxed at the Olympic Games in his opening match, losing by decision to Georgian Popescu of Romania, by a score of 20-5. Ali turned professional after the 2008 Olympics.

Professional career[edit]

On January 17, 2009, Ali made his pro debut and needed just 1:42 to defeat Ricky Thompson.[10] Ali recorded a third round stoppage of Julias Edmunds in his first live televised fight on ESPN on July 16, 2010, at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. He returned to The Prudential Center on August 21, 2010, in his second televised bout and knocked out Lenin Arroyo on the undercard to Tomas Adamek versus Michael Grant. On December, 9th to finish the year Ali on his 2nd PPV event fought to a unanimous decision against Manuel Guzman to record his 11th win. On April 9, in his 3rd PPV televised bout Ali knocked out Javier Pérez in the 3rd Round On the Tomas Ademek undercard.

November 6, 2010 Brooklyn, N.Y., welterweight Sadam Ali (10-0, 6 KOs), the 2008 U.S. Olympic lightweight and the first Arab-American boxer to go to the Olympics, scored an overwhelming second-round knockout of New Orleans' Gary Bergeron (12-6, 7 KOs).

Ali started fast, hammering a defensive Bergeron in the first round. He was landing solid uppercuts and left hands to the body before dropping him with a left hook to the chin. Bergeron survived, but Ali was crushing him with combinations as the round came to an end. Ali landed 37 of 92 punches in the opening round.

It was more of the same in the second round. While Ali was blasting him with left hook after left hook, Bergeron could little more than try to hold on, but he couldn't even do that effectively. Ali dropped him with an uppercut and was smashing him until a three-punch combination to the head badly staggered him again, forcing referee Lindsey Paige to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 18 seconds. Ali outlanded Bergeron 70-8 in the fight.

Ali signed with Golden Boy Boxing on June 24, 2013 to promote his boxing career.[11]

On November 8, 2014, Sadam Ali took on Juan Carlos Abregu and was heading into the fight as a big underdog. Ali had upset the odds and defeated Abregu, the fight was stopped in the 9th round and ruled as a TKO victory which meant Ali had won the welterweight title. Ali had knocked down his oponnent in the 6th and 9th round before the fight had been stopped.[12]

On April 25, Ali defeated Francisco "Chia" Santana in a unanimous decision Madison Square Garden, Ali landed 196 of 588 punches (33 percent). Ali was quoted after the fight saying, "I'm thrilled with my victory," Ali said. "It's a dream come true to fight here at Madison Square Garden. I'd like to fight a top-10 contender in my next fight. He was a tough fighter. He hits very hard, but I was able to take his punches."[13]

Vargas v Ali[edit]

Ali took a step up in class to fight Californian volume puncher Jessie Vargas in March 2016 for the WBO welterweight title left vacant by Timothy Bradley. While many pundits expected a close fight, Vargas landed more blows and the more effective blows in what was a decisive victory for him. Vargas knocked down Ali in rounds eight and nine. Vargas landed a brutal body shot followed by a right to the head to knock Ali out on his feet and win the vacant WBO world title. Vargas was ahead on all judges scorecards at the time of TKO (79-72, 77-74 twice).[14] Vargas landed 159 punches from his 428 thrown compared to 118 landed from 408 thrown from Ali.[15]


Since losing to Vargas, Ali won two fights and on July 29 headlined a Goldenboy event against Venezuelan former WBA interim champion Johan Perez. This was expected to be a stern test for Ali but was an opportunity to become a title contender again. "A win in this fight puts me right back in position to compete for a world championship," Ali, who fights out of Brooklyn, New York, said. "I can't wait to get back in the ring and demonstrate the speed and power that has led me to be a top contender in the welterweight division."[16]

Cotto vs Ali[edit]

The 37-year-old legendary Puerto-Rican fighter had his moments against the 29-year-old New York native, but in the end, Ali's speed and fresher legs proved to be the difference and he sent the future Hall of Famer out on the losing end. Cotto reportedly was set to make at least $2 million for the fight while Ali was guaranteed $700,000. After the bout, Ali was gracious and appreciative of the opportunity: ”Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.” Cotto came in as the favorite in the bout, but Ali showed he was up to the task early in the fight as he staggered the rugged legend with a hard right hand. Cotto landed some nice body shots and he stopped Ali's attack on a few occasions with combinations.However, Ali landed more consistently from beginning to end. The boxing community chimed in with varying levels of respect.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
29 fights 27 wins 2 losses
By knockout 14 2
By decision 13 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
29 Win 27–2 United States Mauricio Herrera UD 10 Dec 15, 2018 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S.
28 Loss 26–2 Mexico Jaime Munguia TKO 4 (12), 1:02 May 12, 2018 United States Turning Stone Resort Casino, Verona, New York Lost WBO light middleweight title
27 Win 26–1 Puerto Rico Miguel Cotto UD 12 Dec 2, 2017 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Won WBO light middleweight title
26 Win 25–1 Venezuela Johan Pérez UD 10 Jul 29, 2017 United States Casino Del Sol, Tucson, Arizona Won vacant WBA International welterweight title
25 Win 24–1 Mexico Jorge Silva KO 3 (10), 2:27 Jan 28, 2017 United States Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Indio, California
24 Win 23–1 Mexico Saul Corral UD 10 Sep 17, 2016 United States AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
23 Loss 22–1 United States Jessie Vargas TKO 9 (12), 2:09 Mar 5, 2016 United States DC Armory, Washington, District of Columbia For vacant WBO welterweight title
22 Win 22–0 United States Francisco Santana UD 10 Apr 25, 2015 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York Won WBA International welterweight title
21 Win 21–0 Argentina Luis Abregú TKO 9 (10), 1:54 Nov 8, 2014 United States Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained WBO Inter-Continental welterweight title
20 Win 20–0 United States Jeremy Bryan SD 10 Aug 9, 2014 United States Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental welterweight title
19 Win 19–0 United States Michael Clark KO 1 (10), 2:06 Apr 19, 2014 United States DC Armory, Washington, District of Columbia Won interim WBO-NABO welterweight title
18 Win 18–0 Mexico Jesus Selig TKO 6 (10), 0:22 Dec 7, 2013 United States Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
17 Win 17–0 United States Jay Krupp UD 8 Sep 30, 2013 United States Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
16 Win 16–0 United States Ronnie Warrior Jr KO 2 (12), 2:59 Oct 27, 2012 United States Aviator Sports Complex, Brooklyn, New York
15 Win 15–0 Dominican Republic Franklin Gonzalez TKO 8 (8), 2:22 Jun 2, 2012 United States Aviator Sports Complex, Brooklyn, New York
14 Win 14–0 Germany Boris Berg TKO 6 (8) Sep 10, 2011 PolandStadion Miejski, Wrocław, Poland
13 Win 13–0 United States John Revish UD 8 May 20, 2011 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
12 Win 12–0 Puerto Rico Javier Pérez KO 3 (8), 2:40 Apr 9, 2011 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
11 Win 11–0 United States Manuel Guzman UD 8 Dec 9, 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
10 Win 10–0 United States Gary Bergeron TKO 2 (8), 2:18 Nov 6, 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
9 Win 9–0 Costa Rica Lenin Arroyo KO 5 (8), 2:46 Aug 21, 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
8 Win 8–0 United States Julias Edmonds TKO 3 (6), 2:18 Jul 16, 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
7 Win 7–0 United States Martinus Clay UD 4 May 21, 2010 United States Capitale, New York, New York
6 Win 6–0 United States Jose Duran KO 1 (4), 1:32 Mar 12, 2010 United States Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut
5 Win 5–0 United States Jason Thompson UD 4 Feb 16, 2010 United States Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
4 Win 4–0 United States Osvaldo Rivera UD 4 Oct 31, 2009 United StatesMohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut
3 Win 3–0 United States Bryan Abraham UD 4 Apr 25, 2009 United StatesFoxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut
2 Win 2–0 United States Ralph Prescott TKO 2 (4) Feb 25, 2009 United States BB King Blues Club & Grill, New York, New York
1 Win 1–0 United States Ricky Thompson TKO 1 (4) Jan 17, 2009 United States Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi Professional debut

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HBO World Championship Boxing tale of the tape prior to the Jaime Mungia fight.
  2. ^ "A New Ali Forges His Own Path". 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2015-04-11.
  3. ^ "USA Boxing - Features, Events, Results - Team USA".
  4. ^ "USA Boxing - Features, Events, Results - Team USA".
  5. ^ "USA Boxing - Features, Events, Results - Team USA".
  6. ^ "Olympic future of U.S. boxing champ Ali in doubt". 16 January 2008.
  7. ^ Abramson, Mitch (January 16, 2008). "Canarsie's Sadam Ali fights test result". Daily News. New York.
  8. ^ Abramson, Mitch (February 8, 2008). "Canarsie's Sadam Ali can qualify". Daily News. New York.
  9. ^ "Documents Archive - AIBA" (PDF). AIBA.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2018-01-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Sadam Ali signs with Golden Boy". ESPN. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Ali stops Abregu in Round 9". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Sadam Ali passes tough test against Francisco Santana". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Fight:2042027 - BoxRec".
  15. ^ "Vargas stops Ali to win welterweight belt".
  16. ^ "Sadam Ali vs. Johan Perez - Golden Boy on ESPN, July 29".

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Miguel Cotto
WBO light middleweight champion
December 2, 2017 – May 12, 2018
Succeeded by
Jaime Munguia