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Despite family legacy, Ali doesn't want her kids to box

Associated Press

CANCUN, Mexico -- She may be a second-generation boxer, but if Laila Ali eventually has children, the world's most famous woman fighter will discourage them from taking up the sport.

"I'm not encouraging anybody else's kids," she said. "So why would I encourage my own? No. I'm crazy, but I hope my kids are sane."

The comments by the daughter of Muhammad Ali came on the sidelines of Monday's World Boxing Council's Night of Champions in Cancun, Mexico, where she received the Female Boxer of the Year Award.

"I love to fight," she said. "Boxing's obviously in my blood, so I don't have to work so hard to catch on to certain things, and I have very high expectations of myself. Only another fighter can understand."

Ali, 22-0 since beginning her career in 1999, is in the middle of a world tour to promote herself and has a scheduled bout against an unidentified opponent in Dubai on April 20.

Despite her expressed career choice for any future children, the 28-year-old light heavyweight admits she didn't follow her father's advice.

"Well, he feels the same way," she said with a slightly embarrassed laugh when asked if her father approved of her boxing. "But it didn't stop me in the beginning, and it won't stop me now. So he's happy I'm undefeated, I'm doing well, and he'll also be happy when I retire."

Still, she says if her kids really wanted to box, she wouldn't prohibit them.

"If my kids wanted to fight, and they definitely wanted to do it, then of course I'd support them," she said. "But I'd definitely not take them to the gym and try to put on the gloves -- none of that."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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