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Ali’s Daughter Wins With a KO

March 8, 2000

WINDSOR, Ontario (AP) _ Laila Ali, daughter of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, remained unbeaten in her budding boxing career with a first-round knockout of Crystal Arcand in a scheduled four-round bout Tuesday night at Casino Windsor.

Ali, 21, a 5-10, 166-pound middleweight, is 4-0, all by knockout.

``I aim to knock (people) out,″ Ali said before Tuesday’s fight. ``I don’t think you’ve seen half of what I’m going to be.″

Her latest fight lasted only 70 seconds. Ali came out aggressively from the opening bell and floored Arcand, making her pro debut, with a right jab about 15 seconds into the bout. Arcand got up slowly and Ali continued the attack, putting Arcand on the canvas again with a straight right to the chin.

Arcand got up to one knee but no further as she was counted out.

Ali reportedly received $25,000 and Arcand $5,000.

This was the second of three Detroit area fights for Ali. She knocked out Nicolyn Armstrong in the second round last Dec. 10 and is to fight March 25 on the undercard of Thomas Hearns-Crawford Ashley bout.

Arcand is a 27-year-old middleweight who fights under the name Brave Heart. The 169-pound school counselor, a mother of three, took up boxing after her 2-year-old son died of a blood clot.

Arcand was making her pro debut after compiling a 5-0 record as an amateur. Last year she advanced to the semifinals of the ``Toughwoman″ world championships.

Ali got into the sport two years ago as a form of exercise while operating a nail salon in Los Angeles. She sold the business and turned pro a little more than a year ago.

Offers of all kinds, including opportunities in television, have flooded in since she pulled on boxing gloves, she said.

``People say I should be a model but that’s not what I want to do right now,″ she said.

Daughters of other former world champions are getting in on the act. Jaqui Frazier-Lyde, the daughter of Joe Frazier, has started a boxing career. Freeda Foreman, the daughter of George Foreman, and Irichell Duran, whose father is Roberto Duran, have recently announced plans to take up the sport as well.

Johnny McClain, the former boxer who is manager and fiancee to Laila Ali, said there are no plans for a match with Frazier-Lyde.

``Jaqui Frazier doesn’t have a clue,″ said McClain, who likes to be referred to as Big Johnny. ``We’re not in a rush to fight Jaqui Frazier because she’s old and just in a rush to make money.″

This is the start of what McClain describes as a plan to make Laila Ali a pro sports star.

In the casino hallways before Tuesday’s fight, Laila Ali autographed posters were on sale for $35 and T-shirts and caps went for $17.

``Because she is Muhammad Ali’s daughter, people expect her to be a winner quickly,″ he said. ``The thing is not to rush it. We have to take our time and go slow and build Laila correctly.″

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