A Guy Named Ali

By Ted Sares on May 31, 2015
A Guy Named Ali
Yemen is home to undefeated junior fly Ali Raymi (25-0, 25 KOs)—yes, 25 knockouts.

Having fought every one of his pro bouts in Sana’a, Ali’s first 21 wins came in the first round against undefeated fighters…

“I know that in Thailand, promoters pay Wanheng in pineapples, coconuts and flavored condoms.”—Ali Raymi

“My chin is titanium; my fists are uranium.”—Raymi

Yemen, officially known as the Republic of Yemen, is an Arab country in Southwest Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the second largest country in the peninsula and is currently into the third month of a bloody civil war. Deadly air strikes and Yemen have become synonymous.

Yemen and boxing are clearly not synonymous, but the country’s capital, Sana’a, is home to colorful and undefeated junior flyweight Ali Raymi (25-0, 25 KOs)—yes, 25 knockouts.

Having fought every one of his pro bouts in Sana’a, Ali’s first 21 wins came in the first round against undefeated (but fledgling) fighters. He beat Prince Maz on November 19, 2014, to win the Universal Boxing Organization world light flyweight title.

The 41-year-old Raymi was virtually unknown outside his homeland, but he possessed a braggadocio dimension and called himself “God.” Though he never got to fight a world-class opponent, he was not tentative about issuing challenges to the top fighters of the division; undefeated Thai Wanheng Menayothin (37-0), rugged Roman Gonzalez, slick Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Pinoy Merlito Sabillo were among his targets. Here is a video showing that he was, if anything, a relentless fighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dsPI-ZSZos

In 2014, Ali fought Prince Maz four times, waxing the Prince each time. He last saw action on March 28, 2015, scoring a first round knockout (what else) over Omar Moxamad (7-0). Raymi, a lieutenant in the Yemeni Republican Guard, walked into the ring accompanied by an entourage of young soldiers brandishing assault rifles. Raymi was ranked in two weight classes; the WBA ranked him sixth at light flyweight, with the WBO placing eighth at mini-flyweight.

Ali Raymi died on May 23 in an air strike.

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  1. Kid Blast 07:04pm, 06/07/2015

    It is sad—particularly the way he died.

  2. Tex Hassler 05:58pm, 06/07/2015

    It is sad that he died and he was close to getting some big fights. Boxing needs new fighters.

  3. Kid Blast 08:23pm, 06/06/2015

    From BLH:

    WBA ranks Ali Raymi, who died in May

    Ali Raymi, a social media legend of sorts and a contender of sorts at 108 pounds, running up a record of 25-0 (25 KO) with wins over a bunch of nobodies in Yemen, died on May 23 in Yemen, reportedly in an explosion in the war-torn country. The fighter was 41 years old.

    The WBA has Raymi ranked at No. 11 in its latest junior flyweight rankings, which were updated on June 5. News of Raymi’s death had reached RingTV.com via his manager by May 28.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. Darrin Morris was actually moved up in the WBO rankings after his death in 2000, and he was ranked for four months after he’d passed away.

  4. Kid Blast 04:32pm, 06/06/2015

    Rob Day Ringnews

    Boxer Ali Raymi was killed last month. The WBA’s response is to drop him 6 places in their rankings.


  5. Kidd Kulafu Guerrero 01:40am, 06/02/2015

    Wow, I’m surprised to know that the Republic of Yemen had it’s own version of Floyd. They even go by the same nickname: one calls himself “god”, the other “money”, but we all know they both meant to say the same thing. They’re practically twin bros; too bad, both undefeated champs never got the chance to meet in ring and fight for all the “pineapples, coconuts, and flavored condoms” in the world!

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:28pm, 06/01/2015

    “Ali walked into the ring accompanied by an entourage of young soldiers brandishing assault rifles”.....probably screaming allahu akbar and firing their weapons willy nilly into the air all the while! He’s getting busy with those 72 virgins right about now!

  7. Kid Blast 11:42am, 06/01/2015

    Ha, It didn’t matter given his opposition.

  8. John aka L.L. Cool John 10:55am, 06/01/2015

    This Ali wasn’t much for defense.

  9. John aka L.L. Cool John 09:44am, 06/01/2015

    Silly me, I thought this was going to be about the OTHER Ali. Nice piece, Ted, on a guy I’ve never heard of.

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