As a professional boxer, Ali, 27, has built his formidable ring record of 12 wins, one loss, in a relatively short period - an achievement he puts down to staying in excellent shape, coupled with a consistent diet of high-intensity training.
As a child, Ali had no choice but to stay in shape - his survival depended on it. At school, Ali's athletic gifts became apparent. He excelled in all sports and, not surprisingly, dominated in fighting games (more specifically the traditional sport of Onghandeka, which is basically a slapping contest).
At 14, Ali began boxing in earnest, and quickly became proficient, winning a regional title within a year, and a national title within three. In 1998 and 2000, Ali represented Namibia at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games respectively. Following his second Commonwealth Games outing, where he took the bronze medal, Ali decided to turn pro, a decision which came to fruition in 2003.
Since turning pro, Ali has commanded considerable respect from his opponents, and amassed an enviable tally of wins. However, a controversial loss to Bethuel Oshuna, and draw to British Champion David Barneshave, have, to Ali's mind, marred what would otherwise be considered an excellent record.
Having turned professional, Ali has been both consistent and professional in his approach to boxing, and hopes to some day realize his dream of becoming world champion.
He can then buy his mother, who still lives in Namibia, a house with running water. You see, where Ali comes from, people are more acutely aware of the concept of survival. Ali takes this awareness into the ring, much to the detriment of his opponents.
[ Q ] Hi Ali. Provide some background on yourself (age, height, ring record, place of birth).
27 years old, 5' 7" tall, Fights 14, won 12, lost 1, drawn 1. Born in Oshakati, Namibia
[ Q ] How does one pronounce Nuumbembe?
NUM - BEM - BAY.
[ Q ] Do you currently hold any boxing titles? Which ones have you held?
No professional titles at present.
[ Q ] So Ali, in terms of getting into the ring, what is next for you?
I have just boxed last Friday (July 8) where I stopped Dmitry Yanushevich from Belarussia in the 2nd round.
[ Q ] Is there anyone you would especially like to fight, and why?
Yes, Joshua Okine for his Commonwealth Title.
Ali's Ring Record
|8 Jul 2005:
22 Apr 2005:
4 Mar 2005:
9 Dec 2004:
9: Oct 2004:
10 Apr 2004:
29 Feb 2004:
16 Jan 2004:
7 Dec 2003:
5 Oct 2003:
29 Aug 2003:
3 Aug 2003:
15 Jun 2003:
16 Apr 2003:
[ Q ] What is your current weight? What will be your next fighting weight?
I weighed in on Friday at 10 stone, 9 lbs. but I prefer to box at 10 stone, 7 lbs.
| Stones/Pounds Conversions
A Stone is a weight which legally is 14 pounds, but in practice varies with the article weighed.
For Example: The stone of butchers' meat or fish is reckoned at 8 lbs.; of cheese, 16 lbs.; of hemp, 32 lbs.; of glass, 5 lbs.
[ Q ] Do you put on much weight in the off-season, or do you prefer to keep in top shape year round?
I box at 10 stone, 7 lbs. and don't go much over that, as I am always in the gym training. I prefer to try and stay in top shape.
[ Q ] What has been your greatest achievement in boxing to date, in your view?
On my record it would be a draw with British Champion David Barnes, where me and many others felt I won that fight.
[ Q ] Have there been any disappointing moments?
Many, especially when I went home to Namibia to box for the Namibian Title against Bethuel Oshuna. It was given to Bethuel on points, but I definitely won that fight. I had my first 12-round contest against the British Champion with three days notice and got a draw (I felt I won) You never know what is around the corner.
[ Q ] Describe your first pro fight.
I won this fight, not losing a single round. Some mistakes were made but overall I think I boxed well. The fight was in the Arena of Nottingham.
[ Q ] What got you interested in fighting?
When I was a kid I lived in a village, there was nothing much to do or play with so many of us played fighting games and I really enjoyed them. When I moved to Oshikati they had a boxing club in my school so I joined and enjoyed it very much.
[ Q ] Describe in detail, your training program leading up to a fight?
Training at Shannon's gym is tough and there is plenty of training that we do, like circuits, bag work, pad work, sparring, fell running, sprinting and recently I have started weightlifting to improve my power.
[ Q ] What is the best technique for developing punching speed in your experience?
By trying to punch as fast as you can on the punch bags and pads. Forget about the power as that will come later, as speed develops.
[ Q ] Describe your diet, both off-season and during the build-up to a fight?
I eat a well balanced diet as I live at a restaurant, so there is a great choice for me to choose from. We have a top class chef and he makes me some excellent meals.
[ Q ] Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones and in what quantities?
No, I do not take any supplements, I just eat a well-balanced diet and I do not drink
[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone starting up in boxing?
You must be willing to be very dedicated, live the right lifestyle, train hard, eat sensibly and sell plenty of tickets.
[ Q ] Where are you living at the moment, and what gym are you training at?
I am living at The Beehive, Pub / Restaurant in Glossop. I train at Shannon's Gym and my trainer is Bob Shannon. He is very tough and joins in with the training to push me that extra bit.
[ Q ] Are you a full time professional boxer, or do you have another type of occupation?
I am a full time professional boxer. I live in the U.K. so I had to obtain a work permit to be able to box professionally, this means I can only box and not have a job of any other type.
It is a real struggle. These stages of boxing are very low income and I have not and will not ever claim any form of benefit while I am in the U.K. I am very lucky to have such great people supporting me at The Beehive.
[ Q ] Who in the professional boxing world do you admire, and why?
My No. 1 of all time is Mohammed Ali and my current favorite is IBF Light Welter Champion, Ricky Hatton who is also a good friend.
[ Q ] Have you trained with anyone famous (a world champion etc)? If so, describe this experience.
Yes, I have trained with many good boxers like Ricky Hatton, Andy Morris, Gary Hibbert, Johnny Nelson, Junior Witter, Philip N'dou and many others.
[ Q ] What is your ultimate goal as a boxer? What do you hope to achieve before you retire?
My ultimate goal is to become a World Champion and I would like to earn enough money to buy my mother a house in Namibia with running water and a toilet.
South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory.
In 1966 the Marxist South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence for the area that was soon named Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region.
Namibia won its independence in 1990 and has been governed by SWAPO since.
[ Q ] What other interests and hobbies do you have Ali?
I like watching movies and listening to music and I love to dance.
[ Q ] What motivates you to continue training and competing?
I want to be the best that I possibly can and I know I have to put in the hard work to get there.
[ Q ] Thank you for your time Ali. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I currently do not have any sponsors and I am desperate for any help I can get to help me with my career, it is very hard at the moment so any help would be greatly appreciated.
The Silent Assassin.
I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for interviewing me I really enjoyed it.