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Muhammad Ali's going for gold in world youth decider
Keighley’s Muhammad Ali, already guaranteed a place in the Team GB squad for the Youth Olympics in China later this year, is fighting for gold tomorrow.
The 17-year-old defeated Azerbaijan’s Masud Yusifzada in today’s semi-final of the men’s 52kg category at AIBA Youth World Championships in Bulgaria.
Now the teenager will meet Shakur Stevenson – the only American in the draw.
The bout against his opponent from the United States will be Ali’s sixth of the championship.
His coach Mike Jelley, from Bury Amateur Boxing Club, said: “Muhammad is the only lad from this country to reach the final.
“The semi-final was hard against a hard opponent – everybody from all over the world is in Bulgaria – and it is a fantastic achievement just to be Greater Manchester champion, let alone go to Sofia.
“Shakur is a southpaw and likes to let his opponent come on to him.”
Al’s quarter-final success on Easter Monday came via a 3-0 win over the Ukraine’s Zhan Mshirmana.
The Briton came out quickly, catching his opponent with a number of fast shots from range.
He then became involved in a battle but managed it well and clearly outmatched his Ukrainian opponent.
In the third, Mshirmana made it awkward for Ali and was too keen to hold, but the England boxer managed a great array of punches to seal the bout.
His other results were: 3-0 v Franklin Gonzalez (Vene-zuela); 3-0 v Sebastijan Saciri (Serbia); 3-0 v Po Wei To (Chinese Taipei).
Winning his quarter-final qualified Ali for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing from August 16-28.
He claimed English and British titles earlier this year but winning tomorrow would be a big feather in the youngster’s cap.
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