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‘Even Though That’s My Dad, My Dad Didn’t Raise Me’: Muhammad Ali’s Daughter Laila Ali Once Detailed How She Understood Absence of Father but Still Felt ‘Abandoned’

Published 10/02/2022, 4:30 PM EDT

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Popularly known as ‘The People’s Champion’, boxing legend Muhammad Ali dedicated a big part of his life to boxing and for people’s welfare. With one of the most illustrious athletic careers, Ali is often regarded as the greatest boxer of all time. However, take a look at what his daughter has to say about her father. 

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Ali’s daughter Laila Ali followed in her father’s footsteps and became a brilliant boxer. While talking in an interview, she mentioned how she is not afraid of anybody. She even recalled the time when she was not afraid to tell her father that she didn’t want to be Muslim. Furthermore, Ali didn’t want her daughter to become a boxer, but Laila said she was going to do it anyway. 


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She further added, “Because, the thing is that even though that’s my dad, and my dad didn’t raise me, my dad wasn’t there for the most important parts of my life. Because it’s hard to be fighting the world and be as great as he is and be a present dad.” 

Laila Ali talks about what she had to go through while growing up 


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Just like her father, Laila is a fighter in the true sense and she prevailed over everything to become the person she is today. She retired with a fantastic professional record of 24-0. However, she had her own share of downfalls during her childhood. 

While talking about her father’s absence during her childhood, she said, “So I’m not faulting him for that, but that’s just the truth. A lot of what I had to go through when I was, went through molestation in family. He didn’t know about any of that. Part of it, I can’t say that it’s his fault, but a lot of things, he was getting sick and had a lot going on. You don’t want to bother your father with that. These are things that I had to deal with, but as a child, you feel kind of abandoned by both parents.”


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WATCH THIS STORY: Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua Trilogy & Other Potential Opponents for Andy Ruiz Jr. Following Magnificent Victory Over Luiz Ortiz

In the interim, what do you think about Laila’s remarks on her father and her struggles? Let us know in the comments below. 



Shashank Wankhede

775 articles

Shashank Wankhede is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports. When it comes to boxing, the blockbuster film 'Rocky' sparked his interest in the sport. He holds Muhammad Ali in great regard and is a sincere admirer of his narrative, struggle, and accomplishments.

Edited By: Ajinkya Aswale