Society & Culture & Entertainment Performing Arts

Laila Ali - From Ring to Dance Floor

Laila Ali's inspiring career as a boxer, following in her famous father's footsteps, has only been enhanced by her life and accomplishments outside of the ring.
Laila Ali was born December 30, 1977 to former Heavyweight Champion of theWorld Muhammed Ali and his third wife, Veronica Porsche Anderson.
She iscurrently the women's boxing Triple Crown Super Middleweight Champion as well asa contestant on ABC's popular Dancing with the Stars.
Ali earned a degree in Business Management at Santa Monica College and thenwent on to own and operate a successful nail salon in California.
She hadplanned to attend the University of Southern California Business School, butafter watching women's boxing on television for the first time, she decided tobecome a boxer.
Approximately a year later, Ali sold her business and startedtraining to become a professional fighter.
Ali made her professional boxing debut on October 8, 1999, at the age of21.
She insisted that the press not record videos of this fight.
Her opponent,April Fowler, was a 0-1 fighter who worked as a waitress.
31 seconds into the1st round, she knocked out her opponent, April Fowler.
After Ali's pro debut,she told reporters that she had made her father proud, and that she would knockout every one of her opponents and that it was a promise.
Born:December 30, 1977 Died:-- Famous For:Undefeated World Boxing Champion; Daughter offormer Heavyweight Champion of the World Muhammed Ali; named one of PeopleMagazine's Most 100 Beautiful People of 2007.
Key Accomplishments:Earned a degree in BusinessManagement from Santa Monica College; Undefeated World Boxing Champion, Author;Model.
Significant Quote:"There's so many other things that I'mtalented at, so many things that I could be doing, that I wouldn't be boxing ifit wasn't what I loved to do.
" Fun Quote: "I didn't even know that women boxed.
And thenwhen I saw it for the first time I wanted to do it.
Ali went on to win her next 8 fights by knockout, and in October of 2000,she beat the then-reigning champion Kendra Lendhart.
She won 3 more belts in2002.
On August 17, 2002, she became the new IBA super middleweight championafter defeating Suzy Taylor in the second round.
Then, on November 8, 2002, shewon the WIBA and the IWBF supper middleweight titles after her opponent, ValerieMahfood, forced the referee to stop the action at 1:14 of round eight.
Next, she had to beat Christy Martin, who was considered the best femalefighter in the sport.
On August 23rd, 2003, Ali knocked Martin down for thefirst time in 50 professional bouts, and stopped her in the fourth round.
In her last fight, on February 3rd, 2006, Ali knocked out her opponent,Gwendolyn O'Neal, in just 56 seconds.
The bout, which was held in Johannesburg,South Africa, was attended by Nelson Mandela.
Ali had the opportunity to meethim prior to the fight.
On February 20, 2007, ABC announced that Ali would participate in thefourth season of Dancing with the Stars.
Her partner is MaksimChmerkivskiy, and together they received the first 10 from judge Len Goodman fortheir rumba.
Ali also wrote a motivational book, which is called Reach!.
Shewrote the book to help inspire other young women.
In it, she uses her ownexperiences and challenges as examples for her readers.
She also loves to cook,enjoys Pilates, and has done some modeling, including appearances in SportsIllustrated, People, Ebony, Glamour,Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Essence,ESPN the Magazine, and Time.
Ali is currently engaged to former pro football player Curtis Conway.
Theyplan to wed in July, 2007.

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