Ramla Ali is all-in for a spot in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The British-Somali boxer is prepared to put her professional boxing career on hold if she’s offered a spot to box at the Olympics.
Coming from the warn-torn nation of Somali, the 31-year-old had always dreamed of representing her country in the Olympics. So far, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for Ali. She failed to secure a spot in the African qualifiers at Senegal last February, and when the world qualifiers were cancelled she nearly lost all heart.
But the IOC boxing task force’s decision to assign the previously fifty-three quota places for World Olympic Qualifier according to current ranking will reignite some hope for Ali. Up until now, the Vogue cover model has been unable to secure a spot in the continental qualifying events, inspite of being the highest-ranked African featherweight. But the recent decision has turned out to be the lucky break she was hoping for to make it to Tokyo for the Olympics.
“The dream has always been to go to Tokyo,” Ali said, “and know that they have cancelled the world qualifiers I am just hoping that I get good news. Hopefully, I get the call. I do want to go.”
Ali is prepared to make some serious sacrifices. She will put her professional boxing career on the sideline in order to prepare for the Olympic Games and only taking on amateur tournaments.
“I want to get this fight out of the way on Saturday, maybe do one more, then go back to doing some amateur tournaments,” Ali revealed. “I want to try to get at least two tournaments under my belt before starting the Olympic prep and then going out to Tokyo to try and get some preparation with the national team. Hopefully, everything falls into place.”
In her second professional contest, Ali will be fighting Swindon’s Bec Connolly at the Wembley on Saturday, 20th March 2021.