Is there anything 29-year-old Laila Ali can’t do? Daughter to former World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist Muhammed Ali, Laila Ali manages to prove again and again that she possesses that same drive and talent.
Her long list of achievements include holding a degree in Business, running her own nail salon, making her boxing debut in 1999 knocking her opponent out in the first round, writing a motivational and inspirational book for young women entitled “Reach!”, and just recently placing third on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.
According to Laila Ali’s official website she had no intentions of taking up women’s boxing. She was on her way to pursuing a higher degree in Business when she first saw a women’s boxing match on TV. She immediately fell in love with the sport. A year later she had sold her salon and was training to become a world champion boxer.
Only in the past few years has women’s boxing become a more acceptable and popular sport. Throughout most of the 20th century many countries around the world refused to issue boxing licenses to women. As it stands now, women’s boxing will probably not become an official Olympic sport until 2012 although many women have been petitioning for its inclusion for decades.
Laila Ali is just one of the many women in America today who love competitive fighting. Some are drawn to the discipline and achievement of training, others are hungry to meet an opponent in the ring. The strength and endurance, focus and fitness levels required have presented little barrier to the rise of women in Thai Boxing, Kick Boxing, Tae Kwondo and Karate in addition to regular Boxing.
What do you think of the idea of women in the boxing ring?
Do you think it is unfair that Laila Ali has been denied a chance to follow in her father’s footsteps as an Olympic boxing contender?
If that's what you want to do - go for it!! Personally, I feel MEN or WOMEN boxing is brutal. The training is probably very good but the beatings- especially hitting the head-cannot be a good thing.
As much as I don't like the idea of anyone beating on each other as a form of sport, I think that if men are allowed to box in the Olympics then women absolutely should be able to as well.
I say go for it because its what they want to do.They have dreams just like everyone else and so it isn't a doctor or a lawyer but its something more important to them. I also believe women who want to box is very brave.To stand there and want to be the best fighter is awesome.
It's not something that I am into as with most sporting events. She seems like a passionate person and that should take her far. Personally I don't feel I will follow this type of event.
I'd rather see a woman fighting in the ring than outside of the ring - and every interview I have seen has shown Laila as a graceful and articulate woman, with confidence, skill and passion. Although we don't share an interest in boxing, I applaud her efforts, her desire to pave the way for others, and the decidedly positive way she has led her life although often under a microscope.
Her father passed along more than good looks and skill - she's intriguing and worth listening to.
Personally, I don't understand why someone would want to be a punching bag but, if this is what you enjoy, more power to you! I prefer my physical activity to be relegated to the ordinary- running, swimming etc.
I've never understood what motivates women to do this to themselves. I admire what Laila has done for women and this sport but there are so many other physically challenging sports - why don't we use our heads instead of using them for a punch bag?