There is another rising star looking for the same accolades and notoriety of his predecessors. His government name is Sadam Ali but the pugilist prefers to go by his moniker of “World Kid.”
The 147-pound Ali, 24, a former Olympian in the 2008 Summer Games, will be putting his undefeated record of 15-0 (9) on the line tonight against Ronnie Warrior Jr. of Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Aviator Sports Complex in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. But whether or not Warrior, 13-7-1 (4), provides a stern challenge for Ali, well, that still remains to be seen. However, Warrior’s résumé suggests he has been in the squared circle with some notable foes, including Raymond Serrano, Dmitriy Salita and Ashley Theophane.
“I was glad that I was able to get my opponent to take the fight,” said Ali, the first fighter from Brooklyn in 20 years to represent our great nation back in 2008. The last fighter to accomplish this feat was heavyweight Riddick Bowe. “I am stepping up into that ring, fully prepared. I know what to do. I am ready but most importantly, I am not afraid.”
But one obvious variable is that the showdown taking place this weekend will be televised on pay-per-view television for the price of $29.95. But just what exactly is the rationale for the President/CEO of World Kid Promotions (Ali is his own promoter and he is promoting tonight’s show) for holding a bout normally televised on ESPN on pay-per-view? Inquiring minds want to know.
In terms of building a fan base, this marketing plan may be the equivalent of playing Russian roulette or at the very least, shooting himself in the foot - especially when you take into consideration that Ali is still building a fan base. Typically the protocol for any elite fighter who either owns or wants to start up a promotional company, signs a deal with a major label (Top Rank, Golden Boy, Gary Shaw Productions, etc.) and, on fight night, though being promoted by the superior entity, the fighter’s own promotional company plays the “B” side host to the festivities. For example, Golden Boy Promotions in conjunction with Mayweather Promotions. Rings a bell?
“I don’t think we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” proclaimed Ali, who became the first Arab-American athlete to represent the United States in the Olympics. “My fight will be airing on all channels, regardless of who your cable provider is. I want to be known all around the world.”
Maybe there is some credence to what Ali is saying. When you live in a capitalist society, “if it doesn’t make dollars, then it doesn’t make sense,” but in today’s economy, who could afford a “free” lunch? But all in all, a free sample for the general public to digest wouldn’t have been a bad idea either. This way it would have allowed the consumer an opportunity to determine if he liked the taste of the sample.
It’s plain to see that the product of Canarsie, who first laced up the gloves in the scorching confines of the Starrett City Boxing Gym, knows a thing or two about our great sport. And as he got older, Ali learned more and more about the inside of the business while all at the same time honing his craft in the Coney Island Gym and in some cases, his own garage if both gyms were closed.
But isn’t boxing more than enough? Why get involved with the politics, the backstabbing and competitiveness that come with fight promoting? And if Ali is indeed in fact involved in these corporate dealings, how much time is there for him to prepare and focus for a fight?
“First and foremost, I want to say that I am proud of all of the goals that I have accomplished,” said Ali, who, at his age, makes him boxing’s youngest promoter. “I have help with all of the promotional stuff. Obviously, I have to focus on my career and being in the gym. I have a strong team around me that supports me and tells me right from wrong, starting off with my dad all the down the line. I really and truly have a good team behind me. This way I can do what I do in the ring and those outside of it can control what’s happening elsewhere. This is so much better for the fighter and his future.”
Based on this response, common sense would indicate that Ali is opposed to any other partnerships with any promoter in the future.
“Nah, not at all,” said Ali. “I am definitely not the type of guy to do everything on my own. If I came across a great deal and the right promoter, I am on board. As long as it’s the right contract, how can you go wrong? The main thing is that both parties have each other’s best interests [at heart].”
As the old adage states, time will tell what type of impression Ali and his company make on the game. But one thing is certain, the future starts tonight. This tale is reminiscent of the underground rapper who has yet to land a deal for whatever reason. The MC then goes on his or her grind, ultimately ending up marketing his or her own product to the public. A buzz is then created amongst the masses, which results in the hip-hop artist signing a very lucrative deal. Just like 50 Cent when he signed with Shady Records and French Montana when he inked the deal with MMG and Bad Boy.
So lets see what this hoopla is all about…
Jay Gon’s Tidbits
- So far Ali is the only fighter under his promotional banner. It will be interesting to see if Ali decides to sign other boxers in the future.
- Saturday’s card will feature cruiserweight Santander Silgado and Mike Constantino. According to Ali, Constantino is an amputee, fighting with one arm.
- Former “Chin-Checker” Curtis “Showtime” Stevens has officially been scratched off of the card.
- Ali is of Yemeni descent and is Muslim.
- Ali attended Canarsie High School but completed his secondary school in Colorado Springs.
- Ali is the second oldest in his family. He has four sisters and a four-year-old brother.
- Ali stated his other favorite sports to both play and follow are basketball and football. Ali cited the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and Giants as his favorite teams.
- Ali’s favorite athlete of all-time is Kobe Bryant.
- Ali’s favorite movie of all-time is “Taken.”
- Ali’s favorite genre of music consists of Hip-Hop and R&B. Ali’s favorite artists include Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kanye West, Nas and Eminem.
- Contrary to popular belief, Ali does not own any pets.
- Last but not least, Ali commented on what his long-term goals in the sport are. “I want to do two things in the game,” he told Maxboxing. “I want to bring new fans to the sport of boxing. My name is “World Kid Ali” I want to be that guy that can get a non-fan to tune in to a fight. I also want to be a world champion. If I can do that, then I would be killing two birds with one stone.”
Please visit our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.