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Somali boxer Ramla Ali wins Saudi Arabia’s first female boxing match

British-Somali boxer Ramla Ali made history after winning the first ever female boxing match in Saudi Arabia.
The London-based model and activist beat opponent Crystal Garcia Nova during the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2 undercard.

The super-bantamweight boxing fight was over in just one minute and five seconds as Ali secured a knock-out victory at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

“I’m looking forward to having a little break now because my last two fights I have been fighting and training with a fractured wrist and toe,” Ali said.

“But this was a massive opportunity and I couldn’t say no even though I have been in a world of pain.”
Saturday’s victory expands the former Olympian’s unbeaten professional record to seven wins.

Speaking before the match, Ramla Ali told ITV News she hopes her historic fight in Saudi Arabia will help to grow women’s professional boxing across the world

Prior to the bout, Ali approached the historical moment as a chance to inspire Saudi girls and women by “being part of change”, but human Amnesty International sees it as an example of the regime attempting to “sportswash” its dismal human rights record.

When it came to deciding whether to fight in the country, Ali said her decision was “easy”.

“The fact that they have now chosen to put on a female fight – as the first – not only shows how progressive they’re trying to be but, like how much they’re pushing towards equality.

“Why won’t I want to be a part of that change?”

Amnesty International Amnesty International said “there’s nothing even faintly progressive about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.”

“In recent years, Saudi women who have been brave enough to call for reforms in the country have been jailed, tortured and completely silenced,” said Felix Jakens, head of priority campaigns at the human rights organisation.

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