Ali earned a hard-fought decision over a gritty opponent on Monday night (Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions).
Ringside Report by Resolution Sports
Nearly a year had passed since the last time Sadam “World Kid” Ali (17-0, 10 KOs) stepped into the ring, and he faced a tough test on Monday night when he met gritty Catskill native Jay Krupp (17-6, 8 KOs). The bout, which was the debut by Ali for Golden Boy Promotions, was the main event of a Golden Boy Live! card on Monday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and this action-packed slugfest had some stellar moments in it.
Ali, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, was greeted by a huge avail from the hometown crowd. Before the opening bell had even sounded, chants of “ALI-ALI” came from all sections of the arena.
Krupp came out attempting to walk down Ali, but the 2008 US Olympian did a nice job of leading with the jab and making his opponent miss. Just as the 10-second warning came in the first frame, Ali decided to exchange heavily with Krupp and then rolled under a right hand and took a couple steps backward. Before he was able to resettle his feet, Krupp lunged forward with a sweeping left hook that caught Ali off balance and sent him to the canvas for the first time in his career. However, the Brooklyn native was not hurt and quickly got back to his feet as the bell ended the opening round. Other than the knockdown, Ali controlled the action in the first frame and even earned a 9-10 count on one judge’s card because of that fact.
Ali came out with an angry demeanor in the second stanza, still looking to out-box his opposition but adding another level of bad intentions to his punches when he threw them. Krupp continued to load up on his overhands and power punches, but Ali was doing a nice job of reading his advances. In the third round, Ali kept touching with the jab before unloading at the two-minute mark with a devastating right-left combination that violently dropped Krupp and had him in a world of trouble. The Louisiana born fighter showed his grit and got back to his feet, somehow surviving an onslaught from Ali over the final minute of the frame to survive the round. When the bell sounded, the disoriented Krupp began to walk to the wrong corner but was able to regarner his wits before the start of the fourth frame.
Over the next few rounds, a determined Ali began to bounce in and out of confrontation in good rhythm, avoiding the powerful right hand of Krupp while throwing numbers from the inside. He still kept his distance by measuring out his range on the lead jab and was able to repeatedly find a place for the straight right hand.
In the eighth and final frame, these two fighters looked to close the show in style. Amid an explosive exchange late in the round, Ali sealed the victory when he perfectly timed an overhand right that landed flushly on the chin of Krupp and sent him to the canvas for a second time. The duo then banged it out to the bell, and the judges were called upon to make this fight official.
All three ringside officials scored it differently, but they all saw it for Ali by a wide differential. After tallies of 79-72, 78-71 and 77-72 were revealed, it was deemed a triumphant return to the ring for Ali, who remained perfect in 17 professional bouts.
"I knew he was going to come to fight,” Ali said after the bout. “I haven't fought in almost a year, so I was a little rusty. But I dropped him twice, so I don't know how he thinks he could have won. I wasn't hurt when I went down. It just shows I can take a punch."
Anthony Catanzaro, who has worked alongside Ali’s father and manager, David, for the entirety of his professional career, says that he is more than satisfied with the performance of the Brooklyn fighter.
“Very exciting, great TV fight. Sadam got some of his rust off versus a very durable opponent with a granite chin,” he remarked. “The only round I gave Krupp was the first because of the knockdown, but before that Sadam was controlling and winning that round, too. He made his Golden Boy Promotions debut on national TV in front of a large crowd at Barclays Center. I am happy.”
An announced crowd of 3,059 spectators packed into the Cushman and Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center, repeatedly breaking into chants for its native son throughout the fight.
See what long-time boxing executive Anthony Catanzaro had to say before the promotional debut of Sadam "World Kid" Ali for Golden Boy Promotions at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.