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Britain’s Ali wins first Saudi women’s boxing match in seconds


On top: Ramla Ali (right) takes on Crystal Nova

Somali-born Briton Ramla Ali won the first professional women’s boxing match held in Saudi Arabia with a spectacular first-round knock-out of Crystal Garcia Nova on Saturday.

Just seconds into the fight, after already connecting with heavy shots to the head and body, Ali sent Nova’s gumshield flying with a fierce right that slammed into the Dominican fighter’s jaw.

Ali, a former refugee from war in Somalia and fighting at super-bantamweight, now stands at 7-0 in her professional career as she moves towards an expected world title attempt.

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“The organisers inviting myself to compete and allowing this fight to go ahead really shows you the cultural shift in the landscape that is happening in the region,” a press release quoted her as saying.

Saturday’s fight was on the undercard of the world heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and defending champion Oleksandr Usyk.

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