Great Britain aims for a sweep in boxing when the Rio Olympics go into full swing and they would get media mileage as one of its boxers named Muhammad Ali was out to prove his worth not only through his namesake but to bring home the gold medals as well.
What is ironic is that the 20-year old boxer from Keighley only knows that he was named after the famous boxer Muhammad Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, but he originally looks up to Amir Khan. He so much idolizes Khan that he trains at the same gym where the famous British boxer trains, Bury under coach Mick Jelly.
Ali stated that he will try his best to live up to his namesake, who dominated the 1960 Olympics and went to be the “greatest” professional heavyweight boxer in the world. But he insisted that he is not thinking of the pressure as he will try to conquer the men’s flyweight division in the games in Rio.
“There is no pressure on me. I’ve already exceeded my expectations (in reaching Rio) so whatever happens, it will be a bonus. Even just getting there is a bonus, but now I want to go and win the gold medal. I’m feeling confident and training for that gold medal. I think I can beat anybody at my weight, so why not?” Ali said.
Ali narrated that he got interested in boxing after seeing Khan fought in the 2004 Olympics. Boxing action starts on Aug. 6 but Ali is set to step inside the ring on Aug. 13. Joining Ali in the British boxing team are Galal Yafai (men’s light-flyweight); Nicola Adams (women’s flyweight); Qais Ashfaq (men’s bantamweight); Joe Cordina (men’s lightweight); Anthony Fowler (men’s middleweight); Savannah Marshall (women’s middleweight); Josh Buatsi (men’s light heavyweight); Lawrence Okolie (men’s heavyweight); Joe Joyce (men’s super heavyweight); Pat McCormack (men’s light welterweight); and Josh Kelly (men’s welterweight).
Ali knows he will be in the spotlight on his road to the gold medal in the Rio Olympics. But he believes that keeping a level head and trust in what he is capable of, he would be able to emulate and possibly surpass his idol Khan, who won the silver in the 2004 Olympics.