Saudi: Ramla Ali wins 1st professional women’s boxing match in 1 min

Riyadh: Ramla Ali, a British woman of Somali descent, has made history by defeating Dominican opponent Crystal Garcia Nova, in the first professional women’s boxing match in Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.

32-year-old knocked down Crystal Garcia Nova in the opening round after one minute and five seconds with a smacking right hand to the chin, sending the Dominican’s mouthguard flying out of the ring at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

The match was held in Jeddah on the sidelines of the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship “Rage on the Red Sea” between Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk and British title holder Anthony Joshua.

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Ramla Ali said earlier that it was an honour to be one of the first two women to fight professionally in the kingdom.

Authorities in the conservative kingdom had previously restricted women’s participation in sports. However, recent years have witnessed unprecedented progress as the implementation of Vision 2030 reforms began in the country.

Now, a new barrier has been broken in Saudi Arabia, with the kingdom allowing the women’s match to be broadcast publicly for the first time ever on the global stage through Matchroom Boxing.

On Sunday, August 21, US lawmaker Ilhan Omar shared a video of the match on Twitter and captioned it, “Way to go sis. @ramlaali the undefeated champ.”

Ziyad al-Maayouf, the first professional boxer in the Kingdom, defeated Alfredo Aturi in the first round of their match.

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk won the World Heavyweight Championship at dawn on Sunday, after defeating his British rival, Anthony Joshua.

The fight was attended by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and former Yemeni boxer Naseem Hamid.

It is noteworthy that the Rage on the Red Sea is the second international fight hosted by Saudi Arabia, after the fight that took place in Diriyah Arena (December 2019) and was won by Britain’s Anthony Joshua, during which he won the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship, after defeating his Mexican rival Andy Ruiz.

The Kingdom’s hosting of this fight is part of the efforts of the Ministry of Sports and the Saudi Boxing Federation to achieve the goals aimed at continuing the Kingdom to host the most important and largest international sporting events.

The Kingdom has become a global destination to host such major international competitions, in addition to the diversity of hosting events and programmes.

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