"My dad always said, 'Never step on others to get ahead.' I have a feeling there's enough space for everyone to be successful in life.” Those are the words of Laila Ali, daughter of the late great Muhammad Ali, and the Sunday keynote speaker at AFP 2022.
A world-champion boxer in her own right with an undefeated record, entrepreneur, TV personality, author and wellness advocate, Laila Ali will be sharing with us the “all in” attitude that has led to her every success. “An undefeated record and four world titles later, I realized that truly taking care of your physical and mental health is how you become a champion,” said Ali. “And without my champion mindset, juggling all these roles would be a lot more challenging.”
Speaking of her undefeated record — 24 wins, 21 of which were knockouts — this four-time boxing world champion is heralded as the most successful female in the history of women’s boxing. Ali has taken her career as a pro-athlete beyond the ring to become the first woman to provide expert commentary for NBC Sports during the 2012 Olympic Games, and is a three-time host of the ESPN Sports Humanitarian Awards. She also served as a regular panelist and contributor for the CBS Sports Network’s all-female sports commentary program, “We Need to Talk,” the first of its kind in the history of sports broadcasting.
Ali is a past president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, through which she promotes equality for women in the world of professional sports and pushes programs that encourage young women to be confident, healthy and strong. She was also a major voice for the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which protects women’s rights to be included and treated equally in collegiate sports.
She has overcome adversity, defied expectations and pushed herself beyond her comfort zone — and then helped 80 women do the same when she partnered with T.J. Maxx in 2017 to launch “The Maxx You Project.” Through this project, Ali mentored the women, each of whom felt that she was not reaching her potential in life because of the box or label society had assigned her.
And she’s a chef! In fact, Ali has appeared twice on the celebrity edition of the Food Network’s “Chopped,” where her record is also undefeated. She also joined the FYI Network to host “Late Night Chef Fight,” and has done cooking segments on “The Rachel Ray Show,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Chew,” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”
A wellness advocate, Ali has hosted multiple seasons of “Everyday Health” airing in national syndication on ABC, in addition to being the previous co-host of “American Gladiators” and former host of “All in with Laila Ali,” which aired in weekend syndication on CBS. She also hosted the Emmy award-winning show “Home Made Simple” on OWN for three seasons.
Her television celebrity took her out of the wellness arena and into the entertainment industry with multiple appearances as Kevin Hart’s boxing nemesis on the hit comedic series, “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” and she danced her way into the final round of the fourth season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007. Not to be left out of the feature film industry, Ali made her acting debut as co-star of the action movie “Falcon Rising” in 2014, starring opposite martial arts star, Michael Jai White.
Staying true to her entrepreneurial spirit, which was born at a very young age — at 18 she had her own nail salon — Ali created a line of organic seasonings, nutrition supplements, skin care and apparel. Ali also has her own line of home décor through a partnership with At Home, the home décor superstore.
Following in the footsteps of her father, Ali is a major supporter of charitable organizations such as Feeding America and Peace 4 Kids, and has worked on behalf of the American Dental Association to create oral health awareness for children.
She penned her life story in a dynamic book for young women, “Reach: Finding Strength, Spirit, and Personal Power!” and has also published a cookbook titled "Food for Life.”
In her personal life, Ali is wife to former NFL wide receiver Curtis Conway, and mother to their two children, Curtis Jr. and Sydney.
“Every day you have the opportunity to write your legacy,” said Ali. I think we can safely say for Laila Ali, that legacy will be: She was all in.