…..You started as a wrestler. How did you get into boxing?…..
Bashiru Ali popularly known as Bash Ali was born on the 27th of February 1956 in his howetown Lagos, Nigeria.
Early life and Career
He started his boxing career in California, USA in September 1978.He never fought as an amateur. His very first fight was for money which he won but was robbed of the decision because he fought the hometown boy but but later beat him in rematch two years later. He is the only boxer in the world to win every cruiser weight title conceivable. He has won the California title, United States Boxing Association title, North America Boxing Federation title, World Boxing International title twice and the current World Boxing Federation title which he won on September 9, 2000 when he knocked out the then champion, Terry Ray of USA. He has had a great boxing life and is still having fun.
Bash Ali has retained his World Boxing Federation cruiser weight after his opponent Tony Booth from Britain threw in the towel after just three rounds in their scheduled 12 round encounter at the indoor sports hall of the National stadium, Lagos. Although the fight ended in the 3rd round when Tony Booth’s corner threw in the towel, they were later to explain that Tony had slipped in his hotel bathroom and injured his ankle on the morning of the fight, but that he had to go out and fight in order not to let the teeming boxing fans down.
And the popular belief that the challenge was an unknown boxer and as such a push over, was however, easily wiped out in the first round as he stood and fought toe to toe with the Bash Ali and landing some solid punches sending packed hall cheering for more.
You started as a wrestler. How did you get into boxing?
Boxing was a total coincidence. I was a wrestler when I left Nigeria. In fact, I left on a wrestling scholarship. Mildred Burke Professional School of Wrestling in the USA gave me a scholarship and I left for America in September 1974. But when I got to USA, I saw the wrestlers, all 6feet 9inches, 400pounds, and here I was, 160pounds. I knew they would simply kill me. So, I went to school and was looking for work one day when I saw a poster of Mohamed Ali on the wall and I went in and saw two guys in boxing bout. So, I told the supervisor I would like to spar with one of them, and he told me to come the following day.
I had seen Mohamed Ali, Ken Norton, George Foreman and Joe Frazier on TV. I was excited. But it was not as easy; the first guy I fought nearly killed me.
My first pro fight netted me just $400, and I nearly cried because I had promised my mother I was going to send her money to buy a car and do other things! The guy who fought in the main event netted close to $300,000. So, I decided to take up the sport full-time and also to work hard and be very good at it.
Regional and Minor Titles Won
December 03, 1980, USBA Cruiserweight Title
June 19, 1985, NABF Cruiserweight Title
September 23, 1988, Nigerian Heavyweight Title
February 23, 1990, WBC International Cruiserweight Title
July 31, 1993, African Heavyweight Title
September 11, 2000, WBF Cruiserweight Title