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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Slick Ali sends O'Neil to cuckooland

By unknown | Feb 05, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Laila Ali proved once more that she is not an empty vessel that makes a lot of noise but a professional pugilist who knows when to switch off her game.

The talkative and some times over- confident fighter, like her father, the legendary Muhammad, stung Gwendolyn O'Neil in less than a minute in the first round, ending their massively publicised and keenly-awaited clash at Emperors Palace last Saturday night.

Two knockdowns during the echo of the bell forced UK referee Ian John Lewis to end the proceedings in 56 seconds.

O'Neil' s only single decent blow was a left hook which disorganised Ali.

The latter was enraged. She moved backwards, blinked once or twice to deal with the disturbance, before coming back with a two-punch combination that ended the fight.

"Come on", she shouted at O'Neil who lay flat on her back. She got up, but her legs were like a jelly-like substance and it was not a good sight to witness a 39-year-old mother of six being displayed in such a shameful situation.

Lewis did well by stopping the proceedings. The "Stealth Bomber" from Guyana, north east of South America, could have been seriously injured.

Many things contributed to her demise. She arrived here five days before her fight and was not able to acclimatise while Ali came two weeks prior.

It remains a mystery how a credible world boxing body like the WBC, sanction O'Neil. The former WIBF light heavyweight champion is currently rated third in the female WBC heavyweight ratings.

"I wanted to do it in two. I am a professional fighter. I do what I have to do. I am happy with a KO," said the 29-year-old WBC and WIBA super middleweight champion, who added her 21st knockdown to her 24 wins.

The general belief from disappointed fans, who paid R750, R500 and R350, was that Ali could have won even if she was blindfolded. Nelson Mandela graced the occasion. Golden Gloves boss Rodney Berman delivered to his promise of bringing Las Vegas to South Africa.


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