BURY, Greater Manchester – As a new star shinning in the boxing ring, 20-year-old British Muslim boxer is aiming at medal’s stage in Rio Olympic Games this month, following the footsteps of the Muslim boxing champ Amir Khan who won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
“He (Amir Khan) was the first British-born Muslim to represent Britain at the Olympics and at 17 as well,” Ali told Bury Times on Thursday, August 4.
“A lot of young lads, especially Muslims, suddenly thought ‘so you actually can do it – you can become a sports person’.
“I couldn’t believe it, thinking he’s 17-years-old and he’s got a silver medal. He’s going to turn pro, make millions of pounds and just going to smash life now, and I wanted to be in that position one day and hopefully achieve even half of what he has achieved.
The Keighley-born youngster went to train with Mick Jelley at Bury ABC, who guided the fledgling career of Khan.
He got a chance to realize his dream this year after qualifying to compete for Team GB at the Rio Games, which get underway with the opening ceremony tomorrow.
“Once I went to Bury (ABC) everything kickstarted from there,” Ali said.
“I started to train with his former coach, Mick Jelley, and he has been a big help for me in getting to the Olympics.”
Going to Rio, the young Muslim star will have to wait until next Saturday, August 13, for his first bout in the flyweight division.
Britain is home to a Muslim community of nearly 2.7 million, according the 2010 census.