After a storied journey that saw her flee civil war in Somalia to Britain, Ramla Ali a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing.
Her story is one of inspiration, having left Somalia to become a British boxing champion without the knowledge of her parents.
At 31, Ali has put pen to paper on a professional contract and says she is aiming to become a world champion.
As she prepares to make her professional debut in October, she also wants to become the first Somali boxer to go to the Olympics.
“I want to become a world champion. I hope in doing so people will develop a better view of Somalia,” she said.
Ali started boxing as a teenager when she arrived in London as a refugee with her family, who had fled the civil war in Somalia.
She, however, did not inform her parents about her steps in boxing, as she feared they would not allow her to participate in the sport.
Pleased to announce I have signed a multi-fight deal with exclusive promoter @matchroomboxing & @skysportsboxing @dazn_usa
I still intend to raise the flag at the Tokyo Olympics but in the meantime I look forward to this new chapter as a professional boxer live on Television. pic.twitter.com/ZglKJ8laFg
— Ramla Ali (@somaliboxer) September 22, 2020
Ali began to represent England and went ahead to win British and English titles in 2016. According to her, she lied to her parents that she was going out for a run during those triumphs.
Thankfully, though, her mother now supports her boxing career, as she is all set to compete at super-bantamweight.
She is also trained by her husband Richard Moore and switched to represent Somalia in 2017.
After signing a professional contract with Matchroom Boxing, she said: “I wanted to get a head start in my professional career so now is the best time to turn pro,” Ali added.
“I just want to get in the ring and I feel like I can do that sooner being a pro rather than waiting around for an Olympic Games that might not come.
“The Olympic dream is still there but I’m excited to begin my journey in the professional ranks.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also added: “Ramla’s story is incredible and inspiring. She has gone through so much to get to this point.
“Ramla joins an unrivalled Matchroom stable that boasts some of the very best female fighters on the planet and she is in the perfect place to fulfill her dream of becoming Somalia’s first world champion.”