Ramla Ali to donate part of her professional boxing earnings to #BlackLivesMatter charities
By Jake Meskell & James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 11/06/20 2:58pm
Ramla Ali intends to turn professional and donate 25 per cent of her boxing earnings over her first year to charities associated to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The boxer, signed to Anthony Joshua's management label, is making the gesture in solidarity with George Floyd, the African-American killed in police custody whose death has sparked protests in the US.
Ali's family fled war-torn Somalia as refugees after her brother had already been killed. Settling in London, she initially kept her boxing training a secret for fear her family would disapprove of the pastime for a Muslim girl.
She wanted to become the first boxer representing Somalia at an Olympics Games, but that dream has ended due to its postponement until 2021.
"I don't want to wait that long," Ali told Sky Sports. "The reason I hadn't turned professional before was because I just wasn't ready but I believe, after 70 bouts, that I am.
"The plan has always been to try and qualify for the Tokyo Games and then turn pro in August/September 2020. That's why I signed with Anthony Joshua in the first place.
"Now they have been postponed it just means starting now. I'm not in a position to wait until the end of 2021. I'm not a 21-year-old living at home, I'm a grown married woman that gets punched in the face for a living, so I want to earn."
Her husband and trainer Richard Moore confirmed: "For the first 12 months of her boxing career she is going to give 25 per cent of every purse that she is paid to #BlackLivesMatter charities. Anything to do with the support of the movement. There are many funds and charities across the world that support the movement.
"She has been working with charities. It's one of the pillars of Islam."
Ali will turn pro as a super-bantamweight and hopes to feature on Joshua undercards: "It is a discussion that I regularly have with AJ Boxing and the team and one I believe we all want. It's really just a question of staying patient and waiting for AJ's schedule to fall into place first and then hopefully being able to take the opportunity of fighting on the undercard.
"I'm also very keen to compete in the US and be part of major shows out there. There is some fantastic talent coming out of both North and South America in my weight category. I've spent the last six months before lockdown sparring some incredible pros from Texas and California.
"Although I had won the nationals for a second time in 2016, I still didn't believe I was experienced enough to showcase my ability on television. I wanted international experience.
Floyd Mayweather's offer to pay for George Floyd's funeral is not the first time he has displayed such kindness— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) June 3, 2020
"I felt I needed to travel the world sparring and fighting against the very best to gain the confidence and skill that will be expected of me as a pro.
"I wanted to know what to do with a slick, back-footed southpaw, a twitchy come-forward fighter and solid counter-boxer. You don't get that experience from your local amateur boxing club or staying in England and claiming to be the toughest in the 'hood.
"You get that from having the courage to put yourself in a position of feeling uncomfortable and testing yourself."
Ali is inspired by Lucia Rijker and Cecilia Braekhus and adds: "Claressa Shields and Katie Taylor are the ones who are making waves in the sport at the moment. They did the business in the amateurs, now they are doing it in the pros. No one can speak ill of those two.
"I'm a fan of boxers with high ring IQs. Watching Andre Ward and Terence Crawford is like magic to me. Their ability to adapt and dominate is truly the sweet science.
"Of course I love watching tear-ups like most people, but for me the skill is in the art and that's what I love. Vasiliy Lomachenko is the master."