by David P. Greisman
Sadam Ali has become a fixture at Main Events shows – seven of his last 10 fights have come at the promoter’s de facto home arena, the Prudential Center, in Newark, N.J., not very far from his home in Brooklyn, N.Y.
He’s regularly fought underneath Main Events’ two biggest stars, appearing on two cards featuring Zab Judah and five with Tomasz Adamek, including a fight this past September in Adamek’s homeland of Poland.
Though the undefeated 23-year-old welterweight says he is no rush when it comes to his career, he also is looking for the spotlight to be even brighter, for his fights to be aired on the big two networks in American boxing.
BoxingScene.com: How are things going in the career of Sadam Ali?
Ali: “It’s going pretty good. I’m 14-0 with 8 knockouts. I’m staying in the gym for whatever comes next. I don’t have any dates set up. I definitely am going to have a lot of things going on in 2012. For the end of this year, I’m not sure. I don’t have any dates. But for 2012, it’s going to get started and I’m going to have a lot of good things going on.”
BoxingScene.com: What was it like fighting in Poland on the undercard of Vitali Klitschko vs. Tomasz Adamek?
Ali: “It was very exciting. It was a nice country. I was in a soccer stadium, and the whole stadium was packed. It was a good experience. There’s a rush. It’s a good feeling, and it makes me a better fighter. Some people, it throws them off. It was a good experience. I had a good time out there. I wouldn’t mind going out there to fight again one day.”
BoxingScene.com: How are you developing as a prospect? What do you still need to work on?
Ali: “I’m developing pretty well. I’m staying in the gym and got to stay focused. I need to establish my jab a little bit more and just work on it. Of course, keep my footwork going and moving back and forth and being a slick fighter. And also my defense. Defense is very important in boxing. You can’t have the offense without the defense. You’ve always got to work on the defense.
“I’m taking my career step by step. There is no rush. I’m 23. I’m not getting old, so there’s no point in rushing for me. I take it step by step. I try to learn every fight, no matter who the opponent is or who I’m fighting, I still pick up on something every fight. I still learn something. That’s why I’m taking my time – to be a better, experienced fighter as my career goes on.”
BoxingScene.com: What kind of fighters do you need to be facing next to move your career forward?
Ali: “Of course if I want to more my career forward, I got to fight better names. But when that time will come, I don’t know. But whenever it does come, I will be ready. Right now, like I said, I’m taking it step by step. So when that time comes for me to step up, everyone will see what I can do.
“I don’t have anybody that I‘m picking out to fight right now. Usually, honestly, people call me out. I like it that way better. It makes me feel a certain way, like, ‘Okay you want to fight me?’ It gives me more of a push.”
BoxingScene.com: You’ve fought just three times this year. Would you have preferred to fight more?
Ali: “Yeah, I usually would fight more. But that didn’t happen. It’s okay. My record’s getting higher. I’m getting to the double digits now. In the beginning, I wanted to fight a lot. But now I’m a little picky with the cards I’m being put on.
“You know, good cards. In Poland, I was on the undercard of Klitschko and Adamek, and before that I was on ESPN. I’m picking fights like that. I’m not just taking any fight at a show over here and over here and taking the win.”
BoxingScene.com: With Main Events guys like Tomasz Adamek and Zab Judah coming off big losses, does that put more pressure on you to step it up for the promoter in 2012?
“I have a close relationship with Main Events. I’m not signed with them. I’m still a free agent as of right now. They probably will be looking for more people, but I’m in control of my career. I go at the pace I want to go in. The pressure’s still not on me.”
BoxingScene.com: It could also mean more opportunity.
Ali: “Of course. If that opportunity comes and I’m ready for that opportunity, and everything makes sense and everything’s right with the fight and business-wise, then I’ll be ready for it.”
BoxingScene.com: Main Events is said to have a new television deal for six cards on Versus. What are you hoping that could mean for you?
Ali: “It would be good to be on those fight cards – maybe not all of them, but some of them. People get to see me more, of course, and also it’s going to be on TV on a new show that’s coming out. I think it could be a good look. If that doesn’t happen, I’m ready for bigger and better. I’m really ready for Showtime and HBO (laughs). We’re working on it for 2012.”
BoxingScene.com: Any final thoughts?
Ali: “I want to thank everybody that’s following my career, of course, and all my fans, and my friends and my family that are supporting me. I really appreciate it. It’s a great feeling seeing everybody that’s behind me. It makes me love what I do even more.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to [email protected]