时间：2009/10/10 9:25:16 点击：6432 次
Laila Ali inherits her father’s profession
There are numerous similarities between Muhammad Ali and his 23-year-old daughter Laila．She accepts them as her genetic legacy．She is the only one of his nine sons and daughters to embrace those genes that led to the ring．
Her father’s legendary status actually had nothing to do with Laila’s decision to pursue a boxing career．She knows that there are millions who know every single detail of every pro fight her father fought．She never immersed herself in that sort of trivia．She has always been proud of his achievements, but he was never a boxer or legend to her--just dad．
What propelled her into the ring was thebizarre sight on the televison screen when she was about to watch a Mike Tyson fight five years ago．What she saw was two women in the ring before Tyson’s main event began．
"I remember thinking, ’Oh, my God。Oh, my God。Women are about to fight,’" she recalls．"I had the popcorn and was getting ready to watch Mike Tyson．I was looking around like, ’What’s going on？Women fighting？’I was so excited I couldn’t wait to see it．I was like, ’I can do that．’"
Laila was 18 and running a nail salon in her native Los Angeles, but the imagery of the gloves, sweat and punches was so firmly etched into her consciousness that she immediately spun180 degrees into another career direction. At that point, she says, the genes really kicked in. She had an indescribably magnetic attraction to her father’s world. "Something in me has to do it. It’s very natural."
Laila’s father, she quickly points out, would prefer that she not take on the dangerous and bruising world of boxing. Johnny McClain, her husband／manager（and former boxer himself）feels the same way. Mom Veronica Anderson was a bit more pragmatic and encouraged her to pursue whatever path gratified her most. Even though both the men in her life worry about her, they’re 100 percent supportive. "They don’t want me to get hurt, " she says.
Long before entering the ring, Laila was a fighter. Being the offspring of a legend made her an easy target for high school kids to see just how tough she was. They, not she, failed the test. And she’s passed every pugilistic test she’s taken since. For the public, her biggest test took place last summer in upstate New Yorkwhen she took on Jacqui Frazier－Lyde, the daughter of Joe Frazier, her father’s most celebrated opponent during the 1970s.
That fight provided the biggest shot in the arm that women’s boxing has received to date. Media credentials were requested from outlets all over the world. Some billed it as"Ali／Frazier－－Genera tion Ⅱ". No match involving women had ever garnered so much attention. Laila squeaked out an eight－round majority decision in the middleweight contest.
One of her biggest boxing－related peeves is constantly being called"champion" by journalists although she hasn’t won a championship title--yet. "People are calling me champion even though I don’t have a belt yet. I’m the best at the level where I am. I want to win a belt and defend it a few times. "
Like it or not, she accepts the fact that she is the face of female boxing. And she hopes that her name and notoriety will help get the public to take it more seriously.
And she wants them to take her seriously.The name Ali has and always will bring her attention. But she is determined to make her own mark on opponents’faces as well as in boxing history books. "This is what I want to do. It’s about me, " she says. "And I want women’s boxing to get its due respect. "
But even Laila Ali admits that she is a walking dichotomy. The powerful combination of gentility and brashness she acknowledges comes her way by genetics. "My mom is very classy, sweet, soft－spoken and spiritual. And I’m that way because when I start something, Ilike to finish. My father does what he wants to do, believes what he wants to believe and sticks with it. When he makes his mind up to do some thing, he does it and doesn’t let anything get in his way. He was always determined and confident. I’m the same way."
Laila is determined to embrace the spirituality of her mom and the strength of her dad while carrying out her own niche in the world. And she’s committed to proving to the world that women can have enduring success in the ring.