Sadam “World Kid” Ali says he’s ready to box at the Barclay’s Center. He just needs the right breaks — and the right opponent to break.
The undefeated Olympian welterweight easily demolished Ronnie “The Natural” Warrior, Jr. at Aviator Sports and Recreation Center on Friday, knocking the older, slower pugilist out in the second round — then apologized for not being able to give fans a better fight for his pay-per-view debut.
“I’ll try to get better opponents, but the bigger fighters cost more money and I’m not in their position,” said the Canarsie-born Ali, whose World Kid Promotions set up the seven-fight show. “I’m not afraid to fight anybody and I want to step up.”
Ali hopes to step up to the Barclays Center, where World Boxing Association welterweight champ and Bensonhurst native Paulie Malignaggi won a controversial split-decision victory against Mexican fighter Pablo Cesar “El Domoledor” Cano during the arena’s first boxing night on Oct. 20 and flipped off the crowd who responded to his win with a hail of boos. Malignaggi sat ringside at Ali’s fight.
Ali claims it’ll be difficult to get a match at the Barclays Center, since Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has an exclusive contract to schedule fights at the arena.
“I’d love to fight at Barclays. It’s a big, beautiful place, and it’s in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn’s my home,” said Ali, who was the first Arab-American to participate in the Olympics in 2008 and who now owns a boxing gym on Fifth Avenue and 69th Street in Bay Ridge. “But it’s not easy to get into Barclays.”
It’ll definitely be harder than defeating “The Natural”: Ali decisively out-boxed his opponent, who is 11 years his senior, using his quick fists to unleash blinding shoeshine combinations while avoiding the Oklahoma fighter’s hooks and crosses.
Ali drove Warrior into the corner with a flurry of punches in the second round, and then landed an uppercut that left his opponent sprawled out on the canvas. The ref separated the two and Warrior got back up, only for Ali to knock him down again — this time for the count.
Ali was supposed to take on Jermaine “Too Sweet” White for the vacant International Boxing Organization’s International welterweight title but White said he was too injured to fight and never boarded the plane to New York, according to Ali’s publicist Bob Krieger.
Ali’s record now stands at 16–0 with 10 stoppages.
One-armed boxer victorious
The other standout fighter of the night was light heavyweight Michael Costantino of Queens — a boxer born with only half of a right arm — who defeated Rhode Island pugilist Nathan Ortiz by a technical knock-out during his professional debut.
The 33-year-old fighter, who Ali helped train, was able to use his stubbed limb — which was wrapped and gloved — to set up impressive combinations against Ortiz as he landed short rights to the head and left hooks to the body.
His visibly out-of-shape opponent had trouble landing his own punches, and was staggering against the ropes just a minute into the second round. The ref stopped the fight at 1:16.
Costantino now has a 1–0 record, while Ortiz’s stands at 0–3.