She bee Stingin
“Well, my name is always gonna open doors. I can't help that, and of course I'm gonna walk through them. I'm not gonna say, 'Oh no, I'm trying to prove a point.' Of course I'm gonna get paid more, of course I'm gonna get more attention, but a lot of responsibility comes with that.” Laila Ali
Professional boxer Laila Ali, daughter of champion boxer Muhammad Ali, has created a reputation as the unchallenged champion of women's boxing with a 24-0 record and 21 knockouts since entering the world of boxing in 1999. She has defeated title-holders like Suzette Taylor, Valerie Mahfood, Gwendolyn O'Neil and Erin Toughill and has dominated all three major women's championship belts: WIBA, IWBF and IBA. Ali, who earned the nickname “She bee Stingin,” also became the second woman winner of the World Boxing Council Championship. More recently, Ali has enjoyed her new career as a host and a correspondent for the TV programs “American Gladiators” (2008, NBC) and CBS' “The Early Show” (2008).
Ali is the author of “Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power,” an autobiography published in 2002. She said, “(In this book), I'm telling you the story of how a pretty little girl, born inside a fairy tale, went through life's lost-and-found.”
Ali owned and operated a nail salon in California before entering boxing. She also launched a gym franchise called Absoloot Boxing and Fitness Gym when she was still married to Johnny “Yahya” McClain, with whom she lived from 2000 to 2005.
Ali, who was named one of “People Magazine's” “100 Most Beautiful People” in 2007, is the wife of former NFL star Curtis Conway. She also has three stepchildren. The family resides in Los Angeles.
Childhood and Family:
Laila Ali was born on December 30, 1977, in Miami Beach, Florida, to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and Veronica Porsche Anderson. She was taught the value of education and hard work since she was a child. It paid off when she opened her own nail salon in California. She attended Santa Monica College and received a degree in Business Management from the University of Southern California Business School. She was on her way to further pursue her business career when the attraction of boxing came calling.
On August 27, 2000, Laila married Johnny “Yahya” McClain, whom she met via her sister Hana at their father's birthday party. The couple professionally worked together, with McClain serving as Laila's manager, until their divorce in 2005. Laila found a new love in retired NFL player Curtis Conway, whom she married on July 22, 2007. Through the marriage, she became the stepmother of Conway's three children, Leilani and the twins Kelton and Cameron.
Daughter of the boxing great Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali decided to follow in her dad's footsteps after watching a women's boxing match on television. After some training, she made an impressive debut in October 1999 when she effortlessly knocked out April Fowler before the first bell rang. The victory was so easy that many considered the match a hoax. Thanks to her hard work and athletic artistry, Ali confirmed she was a true champion with eight consecutive wins under her belt after her first match with Fowler. With such an accomplishment, Ali was launched as the emerging star in women's boxing.
In June 2001, Ali became the center of attention when she confronted Jackie Frazier-Lyde, the daughter of Joe Frazier, in a famous battle called “Ali/Frazier IV.” She ended up defeating her opponent in eight rounds through a majority judge's decision. After the win, Ali spent a year outside the ring to regain her health after a shoulder operation. During this period, she built up her persona in the media by appearing in such television programs as “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America” and magazines like “Ebony,” “Sport Illustrated” and “Elle,” among others.
Ali returned to boxing with success in June 2002 by beating Shirvelle Williams in a six-round judgment fight. But, she did not pick up her first belt until two months later when she knocked out Suzette Taylor in the second round in a battle held at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and became the International Boxing Association (IBA) champion. Ali scored an even larger triumph in November that same year when she defeated the then-world champion Valerie Mahfood by a knockout in the eighth round. In addition to holding her IBA title, the superb boxer also collected the WIBA and IWBF belts through the bout. Later, in 2003, Ali defended her title in a rematch with Mahfood. She also knocked out women's boxing legend Christy Martin in the fourth round.
After knocking out Nikki Eplion in a world title-defending match in July 2004, Ali scored her next win in less than two weeks when she beat Monica Nunez in a nine-round knockout in Louisville. Later that same year, in September, Ali faced Gwendolyn O'Neil at Atlanta, Georgia, and stopped her in three rounds. The match brought Ali the IWBF Light Heavyweight championship.
2005 saw Ali beat opponents like Cassandra Geigger, Erin Toughill and Åsa Sandell. It was Toughill that proved to be one of Ali’s greatest victories. Hailed as one of the most furious female to female fights in history, the match marked one of Ali's greatest victories because she maintained her WIBA belt and secured the World Boxing Council title. She became the second woman to crown a WBC title after Jackie Nava.
Ali netted a four round technical knockout over Shelley Burton in November 2006 before defending her WIBA and WBC super middleweight world championships in a flash match against Gwendolyn O'Neil in February 2007. O'Neil fell down after 56 seconds of the first round.
Away from boxing, Ali has tried her hand at acting. She appeared as Lyla in an episode of “Strong Medicine” (2003) and portrayed Heather Philips in the sport-themed film “All You've Got” (2006), starring Adrienne Bailon, Sarah Wright and Ciara. She also appeared in the reality-TV show “Diamond Life” (2005). In mid-2007, Ali joined the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars” as one of the contestants, with Maksim Chmerkovskiy being her professional dancing partner.
In January 2008, Ali joined Hulk Hogan as co-host of the NBC revival of “American Gladiators.” She also became a correspondent for CBS' “The Early Show” and will host the new Nickelodeon reality series “The N's Student Body” (2008).
World Boxing Council Champion
International Boxing Association (IBA) Champion