The European Amateur Boxing Championships begin tomorrow in Bulgaria and competing as part of Britain’s seven-man team will be Muhammad Ali.
No, not the 73-Year-Old boxing legend, but Yorkshire Flyweight ‘Mo’.
The Yorkshire born boxer will be vying, alongside the rest of his team, for a top six spot in the competition. This would ensure they continued to the next stage of qualification for the Olympic Games next year.
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The strong side also consists of Harvey Horn, Qais Ashfaq, Joe Cordina, Pat McCormack, Troy Williamson, and Joshua Buatsi who will each fight in their own weight categories. Finishing inside the top 6 would take them to the next phase of qualifying, the AIBA World Championships this September.
Troy Williamson has replaced Commonwealth Gold medalist Anthony Fowler, after the Liverpool born Middleweight pulled out due to a nose injury.
Fighting the Namesake
Ali has spent years attempting to battle the pressure and spotlight that comes from his name but he spoke to BBC Sport about coming to peace with it:
"At first being called Muhammad Ali brought a lot of pressure," he explained.
"But now I'm winning titles and proving that maybe I'll turn out to be half as good as him."
In distancing himself from his namesake he instead looks up to Bolton born Amir Khan who began at the same gym as Ali:
"I started boxing because of Amir Khan, I remember watching him at the 2004 Olympics,” he told BBC Sport.
Ali has had a succesful, albeit short career to date. This has seen him collect a Bronze at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and an ABA title last April.
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