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Laila Ali: My dad didn’t want me to box

Larry King NowFeb 07 '18

Boxing champ Laila Ali explains to Larry how she convinced her late father, the legendary Muhammad Ali, to let her enter the ring.

Larry King: Did he like your idea of boxing? I don't think he did. 

Laila Ali: Oh, absolutely not. I remember the first time we had a conversation about it. And he tried to talk me out of it indirectly, the way you would a stubborn child that you know is gonna do exactly what you tell her not to do. So he kinda tried to use reverse psychology on me and was like, well, what's gonna happen? You know, the whole world's gonna be watching you. Do you understand the amount of pressure? And I was like, yes, dad, I thought that through. OK, she's still not getting it. It's like, well, what's gonna happen if you get knocked down in the ring and everybody's watching you? It was like, well, you got knocked down. I'm gonna get back up, just like you did, dad. He's like, OK, well what if you get knocked out? I'm like, I don't think that's gonna happen but if it does, I'm gonna ask for a rematch, just like you did. You know, he never got knocked out, though. But, just like you would do. So he tried, it didn't work. So finally, he was like, OK. And he supported me. 

Larry King: Did he then help you? Did he advise you?

Laila Ali: He didn't. You know, just like I wouldn't do that for somebody, like, I wouldn't necessarily start trying to train or trying to guide someone's career. But he did tell me to work on my jab. Because, obviously, that was his bread and butter. You know, the jab sets up every other shot and it's an underrated shot so he did tell me to work on those things.