A few years ago a friend of mine named Sharon wanted to learn how to defend herself, so she came to me saying "You have been in many fights, so I thought I would ask you." I was honored, but we both laughed when I said "But what if I got my ass whipped in those fights, I wouldn't be much help to you." Anyway, we hung out a couple of times a week and I showed her some basics. At first I figured she wanted to learn some fundamental things about fighting, but quickly I realized that she wanted to pursue it further. I pointed her in the direction of a boxing trainer that I knew and she is currently a pretty good kick boxer.
Early on, Sharon would drag me to see some professional female boxing matches, but seriously at first I was torn. It was one thing to have Sharon hit a heavy bag with me, but seeing females hit each other took some time for me to get used to. Eventually I was cool with it, and actually followed the sport whenever I could.
That brings me to Laila Ali. I think that Ms. Ali is beautiful, smart, and a pretty good fighter. I know that I always hate on people on this blog, and I will indeed hate on her in a few moments, but I actually like Laila Ali. Her father should be proud. I saw her fight on the under-card of the Tyson debacle this past weekend where she stopped her opponent in another win. She's undefeated, the champion, and she claims that she is the best female fighter out there. Problem with that is, she isn't.
There is a fighter named Lucia Rijker out of the Netherlands who has a kickboxing record of 36-0, 25 first round knockouts. Her boxing record is 15-0. She is a dangerous fighter, that took real fights with men and she beat their ass like they owed her money. A definite knock-out artist, that has a aggressive Tyson-like style(Tyson, pre-Buster Douglas) who is gifted with both hands.
The problem that I have with Ms. Ali is that Rijker is considered the baddest woman on the planet when it comes to boxing, but when they tried to set up a fight with her she claimed that Rijker was on "Steroids" even though every test Rijker has taken has been negative. Now when Ali is asked about fighting Rijker she claims that she is much bigger than Rijker, not in her weight-class, and that she would kill her. The words of my father ring in my head one time when we were playing craps, he would say, "Scared money don't make none."
Ms. Ali, you seriously can't be considered "the best" if you duck people and make excuses. To be the best you have to beat the best, that is what a champion is all about. If Rijker wants to fight you, and you want to prove like your father that you are the "Greatest of All Time", you should put your money where your mouth is. Your father would have never ducked anybody, think about that for a moment.