Boxing Match Draws National Attention - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/22/03

Boxing Match Draws National Attention

The fists flew at their pre fight news conference. Now, two of the biggest names in women's boxing will settle the score for real Saturday night in Biloxi.

The main event features Christy Martin versus Laila Ali.

"It's a very big event, not only for us here at the coliseum but also for the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast," said coliseum assistant director, Matt McDonnell.

Christy Martin and Laila Ali will answer the question, "who's the greatest?" when they square off in the ring at the coast coliseum Saturday night.

"Quite a few big, big media representatives here covering the fight. So, I'm sure that not only will our facility be paid a lot of attention, but the entire community will be," said McDonnell.

Fight fans outside the box office discussed the chances of Christy Martin beating the odds. But one of the fans had a definite inside edge in talking about Martin's boxing abilities.

"I beat her. Ten round decision. In her state, her home state," said "The Island Girl", Sumya Anani.

She even has a fight photo of her getting the best of Christy Martin.

"She was one of the girls that brought a lot of attention and exposure to the sport and helped it in that way. But then she turned around and hurt it because she wouldn't fight legitimate contenders," Anani explained.

A story nearly as big as the fight itself is the possibility of a special visitor sitting ringside. There's still talk that the legendary Mohammed Ali will be in Biloxi watching his daughter Saturday night.

"They tell me he's coming. We're going to be prepared for him," said McDonnell.

Fight fans are prepared for an unforgettable brawl.

"They're tougher than men buddy. They're tougher than men. They will get at it and give it all they got," said Biloxi fight fan, Mark Wells.

About nine thousand fans are expected to attend the fight. It's being televised as a pay-per-view event.

By Steve Phillips 

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