Tuesday, September 26, 2023  |



Will Sadam Ali step aside for Brandon Rios?

Fighters Network

Sadam Ali was ready to rock and roll and fight for the WBO interim welterweight title on Dec. 19. But sometimes rocks roll off course…

Jessie Vargas was going to be his dance partner but a site disagreement, basically, messed up those plans.

Therefore, Team Ali, topped by Sadam’s dad Mahmoud Ali, won’t fight Dec. 19.

Further, says Mahmoud, he’s under the impression that the Nov. 9 Tim Bradley vs. Brandon Rios bout won’t have the WBO 147-pound crown, now on Bradley’s waist, up for grabs. Why?

Because, according to Mr. Ali, the WBO said Sadam is its No. 1 contender, ahead of Rios in line for a title shot. And unless all involved parties get on the same page, and Sadam is offered a reasonable alternative in exchange for allowing Rios to skip the line, that Nov. 7 scrap won’t have a glossy title component attached to it.

I reached out to Top Rank Promotions exec Carl Moretti and asked for an update. Is there anything in the works on their end which might bring this deal to an acceptable place for all? Moretti told me things should be hopefully clearer tomorrow, Thursday, when he hits the WBO Convention in Orlando, Florida. There, he will see what that sanctioning body has to say about the issue. He says Team Ali turned down a West Coast site, so, really, turnabout was fair play.

Being that Nov. 7 is looming, I think the parties will be forced into finding common ground pretty soon.

No truth to the rumor that Ali will be facing Michael Woods in an all-Brooklyn hide-and-seek game. Apparently, “Ali, Ali, oxen free” might get a certain writer punched in the neck.