- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Welterweight Sadam Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian who had long resisted signing with a promoter in order to promote his own career, decided that going it alone would not work.
In a deal announced on Sunday, Ali signed with Golden Boy Promotions, the exclusive promoter of fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Because Ali is from there, it's a sure bet that he will be on future cards at the venue.
"This is the biggest moment of my professional boxing career, but not the last big moment," Ali said. "Golden Boy Promotions is the top promoter in the game today, and I waited for this day for a long time. Now the next step is fighting the best and winning a world title."
Ali (16-0, 10 KOs), 24, has not fought since October, when he knocked out Ronnie Warrior Jr. in the second round in the main event of a card that Ali's own promotional company, World Kid Promotions, put on.
However, Ali's chances of breaking into the big time -- which requires television exposure -- was unlikely to happen without a push from a promoter better equipped than his small-time operation, which was working on a shoestring budget with little interest from television companies.
With Golden Boy, that is unlikely to be an issue.
"We've watched Sadam develop over the years, and he's without a doubt a young man with the potential to win several world titles," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said. "He brings excitement in the ring and has a huge fan following. We're confident that he has the tools to become a star on both the local level fighting in his hometown of Brooklyn at Barclays Center as well as around the world."
Ali was a decorated amateur, winning several tournaments, including the Junior Olympics, PAL, under-19 nationals and two New York Golden Gloves titles before making the 2008 Olympic team that competed in Beijing.
After meeting with several promoters but not signing, Ali turned pro in January 2009. His first fight with Golden Boy is not yet scheduled.
Welterweight Sadam Ali, a 2008 U.S. Olympian who had long resisted signing with a promoter in order to promote his own career, finally came to the conclusion that going it alone was not going to work.