Sometimes I feel like a shopping list of hardships, but if I didn’t go through all these difficulties, I wouldn’t be the same woman I am today,” Ali told BuzzFeed News.
Mogadishu-born Ramla Ali fled Somalia after the war broke out in the ’90s, and like many refugees, she doesn’t know her exact date of birth.
Ali’s family moved to East London, where she was first introduced to boxing. She said she started boxing after she got bullied at school for being overweight.
Ali, who completed a law degree, boxed in secret and hid her bruises from her family as they didn’t approve of her boxing.
But over time, Ali’s profile grew, and it became impossible to keep it a secret. In 2016, she became the first Muslim woman to win a boxing title for England.