Undoubtedly the face of women’s boxing and athletics, Laila Ali has proved herself to be a force in the boxing world. She began her boxing career at 21 years old against April Fowler of Michigan City, Indiana, which took place in the Turning Stone Casino Convention Center on the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, New York on October 8, 1999. Here Laila gained her first professional stint knocking Fowler out in 31 seconds.
Laila later improved her professional record to 9-0 (8 KO’s) after the knock out of Christine Robinson of Lexington, South Carolina in 2001 she went on to face Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, the legendary Joe Frazier’s daughter. This match brought about a media frenzy which set the stage for this generational ‘grudge match” of Ali vs. Frazier IV. This was a major cover story for the week’s TV Guide which was a first in women’s boxing. Laila proved to be victorious in this match winning the 8th round majority decision.
Proving herself to be a world renowned boxer Laila Ali, she brought about an attention to women’s boxing that was not seen before. Even with all her triumphs in the boxing ring Laila Ali has also transcended herself in being not only a successful entrepreneur but a role model for today’s modern woman.
- Super Middleweight Champion in 2002 and 2005
- Undefeated World Champion Boxer with a 24-0 record and 21 knock-outs
- Wrote the autobiography Reach! Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power.
- Nominated multiple times for BET's Female Athlete of the Year award and won in 2002.
- Paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy for the fourth edition of Dancing with the Stars.
- Women’s Sports Foundation Past-President
- Co-chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory Panel
Although Laila is known for her boxing abilities she has also involved herself in other endeavors that have proved to be positive in reaching out to the masses. Whether if it was part taking in television roles or starting her own skin care line, Laila is in a sense “every woman”
In 2007 Laila went on to participate on Dancing with the Stars, where she showed the world her amazing dancing abilities along with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Here viewers got to see Laila’s humor, feminism, beauty and overall genuineness as she moved up into the finals of the show.
Along with Dancing with the Stars Laila has been apart of many marketing opportunities that have resulted in great campaigns. Laila and Adidas teamed up for the “Impossible is nothing” campaign along with Soccer star David Beckham. She has also done many beauty campaigns such as the Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion’s “Skin is Amazing” which featured Hillary Duff and Dave Navarro, Laila has also appeared in a national campaign with DOVE. Laila has also teamed up with Palmer’s Coca Butter Formula to promote their mother/baby products which are for maintaining beautiful skin during pregnancy. Along with her being a licensed manicurist, and also her past work with skin care lines she has taken upon releasing a beauty line of her own named “Laila by Laila Ali.”
In addition to her many beauty campaigns fitness has been something she has felt passionate about. Subway’s “eat fresh” and “famous footlong fans” is just one of the many fitness campaigns she has been apart of and also Laila is the second ever person to be the famous MILK mustache campaigns. Laila has also taken her passion for fitness to the television screens hosting shows such as “Student Body” on The N Network, co- hosting NBC’s “American Gladiators” with Hulk Hogan, and also becoming a regular correspondent on CBS’s The Early Show being a health, fitness and lifestyle expert. She has also involved in the community in which she is behind Kroger’s health and wellness initiative.
Most importantly she has stayed true to inspiring young women. Laila has written a motivational book in which she talks about her trails and tribulations which she rose above. She wanted to set an example and be an inspiration in young women’s lives. In addition, she served as the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 2010 – 2012 and is the co-chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory Panel. With the Women’s Sports Foundation she is a supporter in women and girls’ involvement in sports.