Who Inspired Muhammad Ali's Daughter to Start Boxing? (Hint: It Wasn't Who You Think)
Season 5 Episode 520
As the daughter of the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, you might think boxer Laila Ali would be living under her dad's shadow. Instead, Laila has carved out her own legacy as a boxer. She won all 24 of her bouts before retiring undefeated in 2007.
Surprisingly, Laila says, her father wasn't the reason she stepped into the ring. "A lot of people assume I started fighting because my father was a fighter. And I actually didn't have the idea to even step into the ring until I saw women's boxing on television for the first time," Laila says. "I mean, they walked out of the ring with blood all over them and everything, and I was like, 'That's for me! I want to do that.'"
When word got around the gym that Muhammad Ali's daughter was training, Laila says, her father stopped her one night in concern. "That's when he asked me, 'Are you fighting?'"
"Of course, he did everything he could to talk me out of it indirectly," Laila laughs. "It didn't work."