Ali, pictured here with trainers Andre Rozier and Lenny Wilson, looks to improve to 18-0 as a professional.
Written by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Coming off a hard-fought decision victory of gritty veteran Jay Krupp about a month ago, Brooklyn native Sadam “World Kid” Ali (17-0, 10 KOs) will now make his return to the ring on December 7th when he faces the once-beaten Jesus Selig (16-1-1, 10 KOs). This marks the second straight bout for the undefeated welterweight at Barclays Center since inking a deal with Golden Boy Promotions, with the contest serving as a feature on the undercard of a mega show that is headlined by Paulie Malignaggi vs. Zab Judah.
“Training has gone well,” Ali confirmed to Resolution Sports in a recent interview. “I’m just excited to be fighting at the Barclays again. I’m excited to go out there in front of my hometown and do what I do best, along with Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Marcus Browne, Juan Dominguez. There are so many guys on this card. It’s something that’s really special. I’m just ready to show my talents along with everybody else and to keep Brooklyn alive. We just want to keep boxing around and keep the excitement going.”
Ali will meet a tough test when he steps into the ring with Selig, who has tasted defeat just once in 18 fights over his nearly seven-year professional career. His lone loss came in a huge step-up in competition, when he was stopped by the heavy-handed John Jackson last year in the third round of a 154-pound affair.
“I know he’s from Mexico. I know he’s 16-1,” Ali said of his opponent. “I know he’s not as awkward as the last guy I fought, but he is a better fighter. That’s what I like. I want somebody who’s not so awkward because I can’t look how I want to look against a guy like that. When you have somebody in there who has more skill, you can perform better and fight better. That’s what I think. I’m just ready to go out there and fight somebody with a better record. What I want to go out there and do is win, and win impressively.”
A former U.S. Olympian, Ali has never underestimated an opponent, and his humility is something that has served him very well over the course of 17 consecutive professional victories.
“I’ll approach him a little cautiously because he’s going to try and come knock me out,” Ali stated of Selig. “I’m 17-0 with 10 knockouts, a 2008 Olympian, and I’m a prospect and rising star. They’re going to want to put a stop to that. I’ll just know that when I’m in the ring and fight intelligently. I plan to use my speed, my power and really just figure him out the first couple of rounds. The first round or two, we’ll just really figure out what to do with him and how to win. And from there, we’ll just take it over.”
In his last outing against Krupp, Ali had the opportunity to shake off some ring rust after enduring an 11-month layoff. The reason for the time away was so that he could concentrate on some business initiatives, mainly finishing the deal with Golden Boy Promotions.
“I’m excited to get back out there because I was able to shake off some of the rust (in my last bout). I definitely felt it in that fight,” Ali admitted. “Not only did I have rust, I also had an awkward fighter in there. And this time, it should definitely be different, so I’m excited about that. I’ve been in the gym working on some things, and I’m just ready to explode with some really good fighting, basically.”
With a win on December 7th, a frustrating start to 2013 would close out with an outstanding finish, considering Ali would have signed a huge promotional deal and earned two victories in the latter portion of the year. The Brooklyn resident also headlined a FOX Sport 1 card in his pairing against Krupp, and this show next weekend is arguably the best overall card on the 2013 boxing calendar.
“I was really honored to get with Golden Boy, and I’m very excited to be with them,” Ali proclaimed. “I want to thank God for everything that’s going on. If not for Him, I wouldn’t be here. I’m really excited because I know this is just the beginning for me. Signing with Golden Boy was a huge step-up. Now I’m just taking it step-by-step to climb that ladder. Overall, I’m just ready for whatever the future holds.”
Anytime Ali steps into the ring, he puts it on his shoulders to put on an entertaining performance. Come December 7th, he says to anticipate the same initiative from him.
“Expect an exciting fight,” he concluded. “As anyone who has seen me knows, I don’t like making a boring fight, even if it costs me taking a punch or two. But hey, like I said, I can take a punch, so that’s fine. Not that I want to take a punch, but it’s something that’s going to happen if you stay in boxing. No matter what, my fight is going to be exciting, not just because I’m an exciting fighter but because I want to excite. It’s just what I want to do. I want to entertain the viewers.”
Malignaggi-Judah, which also features three world title fights, will air live on Showtime. Tickets for the card range from $25-$250, and they are available through Ticketmaster and Barclays Center. Group packages are also available by calling 1-800-GROUP-BK.