Retro WBSS: With Ali daughter as witness, Smith ticked boxes in Jeddah | World Boxing Super Series
Retro WBSS: With Ali daughter as witness, Smith ticked boxes in Jeddah

Retro WBSS: With Ali daughter as witness, Smith ticked boxes in Jeddah

26th, April 2020

The 168lb Ali Trophy final between George Groves and Callum Smith on 28 September 2018 was the first-ever pro boxing event in Saudi-Arabia and it will be replayed live tonight at 7pm (UK) on World Boxing Super Series Facebook and YouTube.

The final had a special link to the GOAT.

Rasheda Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali was guest of honour at the final at in Jeddah – accompanied by boxing legends like Evander Holyfield and Prince Naseem – and the person handing out the trophy in her famous father’s name to the tournament winner. She saw the coveted trophy for the first time at the final press conference for the all British final.

“It’s so exciting to be a part of the World Boxing Super Series,” said Rasheda Ali. “It was an unbelievable experience to be able to see these super middleweight champions, Groves and Smith, on the stage. Seeing these champions go after this prestigious award. It was my first time seeing the Muhammad Ali Trophy in person, and I was blown away.

“You know, boxing has done so much for my dad and I am so pleased that the World Boxing Super Series has embraced my dad’s life and legacy.

“To see these two champions questing for this prestigious title in my dad’s honour is something very humbling, and my dad would have been deeply proud to be a part of this.”

At the press conference, WBA champion Groves, was first up to speak.

‘‘I’ve been in some really big fights as a professional, numerous world title fights,” said the tournament No 1 seed. “Recently became the WBA champion, recently became ranked #1 in the division and what’s up for grabs this time around for me is the Ring Magazine belt and obviously the Ali trophy as well.

‘‘It’s gonna become a very prestigious tournament not only to win but to be associated with. I’ll make sure that I win it and win it well.’’

Said Smith: ‘‘Every fighter starts boxing to become a world champion and I was no different. I turned professional and I believed my abilities were good enough to take me to the very top and Friday night I get a chance to be there.

“A win over George puts me as the best super middleweight in the world, Ali Trophy champion, world champion, and Ring Magazine champion. It ticks a lot of boxes for me. There’s a lot at stake but that’s why I turned professional, for fights like these.’’

Watch or rewatch how Smith was able to tick off those boxes tonight at 7pm (UK) on World Boxing Super Series Facebook and YouTube.