It was a perfect debut for Ali, as he defeated Andrej Cepur 40-36 on points after four rounds at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester
Rochdale boxer Muhammad Ali made history on Saturday after he became the first UK boxer with type one diabetes to fight professionally.
It was a perfect debut for Ali in front of hundreds of his supporters, as he defeated Andrej Cepur 40-36 on points after four rounds at Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.
There has been a long battle behind the scenes for Ali, as due to his diabetes, he spent nearly three years campaigning in order to prove to the British Boxing Board of Control that his condition would not affect him in the ring.
With the help of those around him, Ali was able to present a case to the BBBofC, and he was eventually granted his license earlier this year.
The 25-year-old was extremely thankful to everyone who supported him after he was finally able to step into the ring, and he hopes that others will now be inspired to not give up on their dreams.
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling. I really appreciate everyone who believed in me before the journey started, and I was overwhelmed with the support I’ve had from my hometown of Rochdale,” Ali told MEN Sport.
“As a diabetic I’ve gone out there and proven that we don’t suffer. Anybody out there who is suffering from any condition, if you believe in yourself then you can do anything in life. Just surround yourself with positive people.
“I need to thank my manager Asad Shamim for everything he has done for me. He was running up and down the country for me to make sure I got my license and without him I wouldn’t be here. My family have been amazing too, and my coach Alex Matvienko has been brilliant as well. The gym is booming and it’s a great place to be.
“I don’t know how I didn’t get my opponent out of there. I was loading up on shots a bit so I could have done better, but there’s a lot more to come from me.”
Ali’s manager Asad Shamim has heaped praise on the Rochdale boxer following the fight, and also revealed when Ali is set to make his return to the ring.
“Ali is such a fine character, and if you want an example of a good person with a good heart and good intentions, then that’s Ali,” said Shamim.
“The plan now is to return on November 17 at Victoria Warehouse again for his next fight. We want to have three fights before Christmas to get that ring rust off and stay busy.”
Also on the card at Victoria Warehouse on Saturday, there were impressive wins for the likes of Marc Leach, Lyndon Arthur and Danny Wright.