Forget the pleasantries. When it was time to fight, boxing’s Laila Ali was all business — and her hardened approaching inside the ring didn’t make her numerous allies.
That’s what the retired fighter tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now? “, acutely aware of what her foes would all likely “re just saying” the type of boxer she was throughout her entire career.
“I wasn’t that neat, ” Laila supposes. “Some boxers … want to shake hands and they talk and they smile at each other.[ I] was like, ‘No. We’re not friends. We’re not cool. I’m going to find a reason to dislike you, just so I can get in there and administer my business.”
Even now, almost a decade after adjourning, the undefeated champ continues unapologetic about her attitude.
“That combination that I had? It drove, ” she announces. “I mean, my dad was the same way.”
As the daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali, Laila grew up watching boxing matches. Though she says her father’s job wasn’t the reason she stepped into the ring herself, Laila admits that she did seem to share his tough spirit.
“He had[ an] evil streak when he fought, ” Laila says, with a chuckle.
Muhammad Ali crusaded his last oppose in 1981. He has been living with Parkinson’s disease for the last three decades. Throughout his personal and professional combats, Laila has learned a lot from her leader, but belief she didn’t amply comprehend the magnitude of his fortitude until his health took a turn.
“Most lately what I’ve learned from my father is how strong he really is, ” Laila does. “Seeing him battling Parkinson’s and he’s still such a strong person every time that I’m around him, it’s just like, wow.”
“Oprah: Where Are They Now? ” airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN . Related : Why Muhammad Ali tried to talk Laila out of becoming a boxer
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