Edward Hearn’s "Matchroom Boxing" has recently made the announcement many of us have been waiting for: the signing of British-Somalian boxer Ramla Ali. The athlete has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Hearn’s company, making her professional debut this month (subject to licensing).
In a world as competitive as boxing, going professional may feel like winning a jackpot at the JackpotCity online casino. Like in boxing, JackpotCity has crowds of casual players that only use it to kill time, never dreaming of winning big. Then there are those who dedicate more time and effort to it with the goal of making the most of their time spent there. And then, there are those select few who break out of the crowd, like the Canadian construction worker who won a massive jackpot at JackpotCity Casino this April, that make it to the top.
Ramla Ali’s debut in professional boxing was as unlikely as hitting a jackpot at JackpotCity. Her native Somalia turned from a decent place to live into a war-torn hellscape that chased her family away from their native land. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, she told the story of her family crossing over to Kenya on a crowded boat - a journey that took them eight weeks - when she was just one year old, still breastfeeding. Her mother struggled to keep her family alive with food rations offered by NGOs like UNICEF and saving any money she could to get her family to the UK.
Ali started boxing at the age of 12, keeping it a secret from her family for a decade. Later, her family found out about her athletic excellence and begged her to stop - but she couldn’t stay away from the ring for long. In 2015, she became the first Muslim woman to win a boxing championship in England, then she started representing Somalia at an international level.
Ramla Ali is currently trained by her husband Richard Moore and trainer Jobi Clayton at the BoxClever Gym in London, and she will compete in the Super-Bantamweight weight class. When asked about her decision to go professional, Ali said that she thinks there’s "no better place to box than Matchroom".
"So many doors open for you when you’re with a great management company like 258", she said. "The link with 258 came to fruition when I was on a photoshoot with Joshua Buatsi for the Wonderland magazine cover."
"Ramla’s story is incredible and inspiring," Eddie Hearn added. "She has gone through so much to get to this point and I’m delighted that Matchroom will be guiding her progress in the professional ranks alongside our friends at 258 MGT. Ramla joins an unrivalled Matchroom stable that boasts some of the very best female fighters on the planet and she is in the perfect place to fulfill her dream of becoming Somalia’s first World Champion."