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The wait is over for Brooklyn’s own Ali

Yemeni Welterweight Ready for His Big Break Nov. 8 on HBO

October 29, 2014 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn-born boxer Sadam Ali is ready to take advantage of his biggest opportunity in the ring yet, challenging veteran Luis Carlos Abregu onSaturday, Nov. 8 in Atlantic City. Images courtesy of Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
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This is the fight Brooklyn-born-and-bred boxer Sadam “World Kid” Ali has been waiting for … and waiting for.

The 26-year-old undefeated welterweight has remained on the outskirts of his division’s elite class despite 20 consecutive victories, including 12 via knockout.

His profile as an up-and-coming contender for a major world title will take a significant leap if Ali can topple proven Argentine ring veteran Luis Carlos “El Potro” Abregu on Saturday, Nov. 8 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. 

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The bout, which is the co-main event of the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev fight and will be televised nationally via HBO’s World Championship Boxing series, has been nearly six years in the making for Ali, who turned pro in early 2009. 

“This is the big fight I’ve been asking for, and I’m ready to perform on November 8,” said Ali.

“Abregu is a seasoned veteran,” added the former two-time Golden Gloves champion. “He hits hard and he comes to fight.”

The first-ever Arab-American to box for Team USA at the 2008 Olympics, Ali, who is of Yemeni descent, went pro soon thereafter, winning 16 straight bouts under the guidance of his manager father, David, before signing with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2013. 

He has since emerged victorious against the likes of Jay Krupp, Jesus Selig, Michael Clark and Jeremy Bryan, with three of those wins coming right here in Downtown Brooklyn at our borough’s new home for boxing, the Barclays Center. 

With a win against Abregu the weekend after next, Ali will almost assuredly climb into the division’s Top 10 and can begin lining up fights against even more notable boxers with more lucrative paydays.

He may even earn the right to headline a SHOWTIME or HBO boxing card at the Barclays by next summer. 

But the 30-year-old Abregu (36-1), whose lone loss came in a decision against Timothy Bradley back in 2010, isn’t interested in becoming a stepping stone for a fighter with just about half of his own professional ring experience.

“I’ve been sitting back watching my fellow Argentinian brothers Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse and Diego Chaves all get their opportunities to fight in the U.S., and now it’s my time to show the boxing world the best fighter from Argentina is me,” Abregu said.

“I have been avoided by Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios and Ruslan Provodnikov, so I thank Sadam Ali for stepping up to fight me. November 8 I will show the fans why I am the best and most exciting fighter from Argentina. Viva!” 

The fight will also temporarily bridge the gap between two rival promotional teams as no Golden Boy boxer has fought on HBO in 18 months due to the ongoing feud with the cable network’s other major promoter, Top Rank. 

 “The cold war is officially over – but that peace will not extend to the ring when two of the top contenders in the 147-pound division go head to head in Atlantic City,” De La Hoya, President and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

“I have made a promise to the fans that nothing will stand in our way of putting on the best fights our sport has to offer – consider this monster match-up between a Top Rank fighter and a Golden Boy fighter another example of making good on that pledge,” De La Hoya added.

An even bigger pledge is being made by Ali, who is hoping to join Brooklyn pugilists such as Danny Jacobs, Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah as the best our borough has to offer in the ring.

“It’s the type of win that will put me in the title picture,” Ali noted. “And I can’t wait to put on a great fight for the fans and bring the win back to Brooklyn.”

In his most recent bout, Ali snuck away with a 10-round split decision against Bryan at the Barclays in August.

That type of performance will likely not be good enough to get him past Abregu, who has won his last seven bouts rather decisively, including an eighth-round stoppage of Jean Carlos Prada in Argentina on April 4.

Now is the time for Sadam Ali to prove himself on one of boxing’s biggest stages. 

The waiting is finally over.

* * *

Golden Boy Promotions was at the Barclays Center Wednesday morning to announce its next Brooklyn boxing card. 

As part of HBO’s Boxing After Dark Series, Canadian star David Lemieux will defend his NABF Middleweight Title against Philadelphian “King” Gabriel Rosado on Saturday, Dec. 6. 

“I’m really looking forward to this fight,” said Lemieux. “My training camp has already started and I am in great shape. I want to take this opportunity to prove that I represent a real threat to the middleweight division. Gabriel Rosado is a tough fighter and he has fought a lot of talented boxers and has established his credibility. This will be a good test for me and I’m working really hard to deliver an amazing performance.” 

“A fighter like me against David Lemieux is what HBO is all about, and the type of fight the boxing world craves,” said Rosado. “I’m both excited and motivated to fight again on the East Coast. I’m from Philly and I know my fans will be in Brooklyn to represent [Philadelphia] alongside my New York fans. Records can be deceiving and I believe David Lemieux will learn that first hand, and I’m hungry to get back in the mix with the best in the middleweight division.”


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