‘When I’m losing I’m a “war refugee”, when I’m winning I’m “British boxer”’: Ramla Ali on labels, sparring and speaking out

02 December 2023 01:00
Ramla Ali was just a toddler when her family fled Somalia for the UK. Now 34, she’s had enough of being defined by her past. She talks about life in the ring, Gaza, and how an upcoming biopic will let her drive her own narrativeRamla Ali sounds apologetic. As a professional boxer and a model, her working day can span the full spectrum of dressing up and down. And today she thinks her hair looks a mess, patting the curls scraped neatly into a high bun with a sheepish grimace. “The last wash day was Saturday,” she says, when she was in Monaco for a high-stakes fight. No matter – she looks lovely, especially given she recently spent an evening getting punched in the face. Makeup-free, she is relaxed on the sofa in a fleece tracksuit at her in-laws’ in Hove, East Sussex. Her husband, Richard Moore, is also her manager and former boxing coach (a role now taken over by Los Angeles-based Manny Robles). They have decamped to Moore’s parents’ place because, “if you’re in London after you compete, no one will leave you alone!”Ali brings up hair because hers has been the cause of some anxiety over the past few months. Since turning pro in October 2020, she had been undefeated in the ring (excluding amateur bouts). Then she lost a fight in June 2023, a shock knockout left hook landed by Julissa Alejandra Guzman of Mexico. Over the following months, Ali’s hair started to fall out. She noticed parts of it thinning during a 12-week intensive training camp to prepare for the November rematch in Monaco, which Ali won to claim a World Boxing Association international super-bantamweight (55kg) title (she earned her first pro title in February 2023). Continue readingread full article

Source: TheGuardian