These are potentially dizzying times for young Sadam “World Kid” Ali, an unbeaten Brooklyn welterweight who signed with Golden Boy Promotions in June, celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, and will headline Monday’s Golden Boy Live! event in his hometown. The show will air on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes at 9 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT from Barclays Center.
RingTV.com caught up to Ali (16-0, 10 knockouts), who represented the United States in the 2008 Olympics, and will debut with the company against Jay Krupp (17-5, 8 KOs).
Ali is returning to the ring for the first tiime since last October’s second-round knockout over Ronnie Warrior Jr. at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, a show that was handled by Ali’s World Kid Promotions organization.
In signing with Golden Boy, Ali joins a seemingly endless list of talented fighters in and around the 147-pound division, including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Canelo Alvarez, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, Robert Guerrero, Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana, Austin Trout, Lamont Peterson, Paulie Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Andre Berto, and Shawn Porter.
Ali spoke to RingTV.com in this Q&A:
RingTV.com: Happy birthday.
Sadam Ali: Thank you, thank you. I just went to a media workout, and we had a short press conference, basically, and that’s about it. There was a whole bunch of different media members there. There were so many of them, I couldn’t keep up.
RingTV.com: Do you enjoy more freedom now that you don’t have to have your hands in all of the other promotional duties?
SA: Right now, I have just been able to put that to the side, because I know that Golden Boy is going to do the job. So I don’t really need to focus on that right now. I’m just letting Golden Boy do what they’re going to do for me.
This is huge. Barclays Center, main event. I’m excited and very happy. Golden Boy has the Barclays Center, and I’m happy about that, and for my first fight with them, I’m already the main event on Fox Sports, so I’m excited.
RingTV.com: With so much going on in and around the welterweight division, where do you feel that you fit in the mix, and how far are you away from a title shot?
SA: I know that I’m in that category, but I haven’t proven it yet. I hadn’t been signed to a promoter that could really put me out there, and that’s why I have Golden Boy now.
I’m mentally and physically ready for the bigger fights. I know what I can do. I know that people know what I’m capable of and who I am. But I’m still at the bottom of the ladder, so to speak, but I’m ready to climb it, and I know that I can climb it.
RingTV.com: What kind of a performance are you looking for on Monday?
SA: My opponent is Jay Krupp, and he’s someone who wants to come in and beat somebody like myself, who is undefeated and who was an Olympian. Beating me, I’m someone who can put him in a better fight next.
He’s already saying that he’s going to knock me out, and that I’m going to be looking up at him from the canvas. [Laughs.] But it’s okay, he has to psyche himself up.
But I don’t underestimate anybody in the ring. I know what I can do, and I know what to do with him, and I’m just ready to take the victory. I just want to shine. I want to do everything right.
I want the viewers to see what I have to bring to the table. Hopefully, he comes out to fight. I don’t look past anybody, but he is somewhat of a step up. There’s going to be better steps up in fights for me.
RingTV.com: Are you looking to score your fourth straight knockout?
SA: The knockout would be good, because that’s what most people want to see. But I’m not going to go looking for it, as much as I’m just going to let it come to me.
That’s what I’ve been doing, because when you go looking for it, that’s often when it doesn’t come. So, what I’m going to do is to show my speed, and my power. You need to go rounds, sometimes.
That’s because you’re not going to always be able to knock everybody out. I just want to perform to the best of my ability. If it goes rounds, then it goes rounds. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. Then it just ends. We’ll just have to see.
RingTV.com: What do you feel is a realistic timetable for being in position for a legitimate title shot?
SA: I’m not sure exactly, but I’m going to go with maybe three or four fights. That would be, most likely, at the end of 2014.