Ali vs. Frazier:
(Photo courtesy of Laila Ali)
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Jacqui Frazier-Lyde and Laila Ali
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Laila Ali, 23, the second youngest of Muhammad Ali's nine children, says she took up boxing about three years ago just for the exercise. Her career path, she thought, lay in business: She had earned a business management degree at Santa Monica College and was on her way to the University of Southern California Business School, while owning and operating a nail salon.
But everything changed two years ago, Ali says, when she saw reigning Women's Heavyweight Champion Christy Martin fight on television. Ali was inspired: She sold her salon and began training for her first professional bout.
Ali made her ring debut on Oct. 8, 1999, knocking out April Fowler just 31 seconds into the first round. She is undefeated in nine professional bouts, scoring knockouts in eight of them.
Ali seems unconcerned about how taking the blows in this career could affect her other one: professional modeling. She has appeared in magazines including Elle, GQ, Vogue, and People. She's married to Johnny "Yahya" McClain, a former fighter and now her promoter.
On Morning Edition June 8, radio documentarians Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva tell the story of Laila Ali, from childhood with her famous father through training for the June 8 grudge match with Jacqui Frazier-Lyde.