Boxing: Ali absent as daughter struggles for second victory

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The Independent Online
LAILA ALI'S second fight was much longer than her first, but the result was the same. The 21-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali stopped her opponent, Shadina Pennybaker of nearby Pittsburgh, with three seconds left in their four-round bout on Wednesday night, watched by 2,000 fans at the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in Chester, West Virginia.

Ali had predicted she would knock out Pennybaker, a 28-year-old accounting student from Pittsburgh who was making her professional debut, but was unable to land any solid blows early.

Early in the fourth round, Ali bloodied her opponent's lip, forcing a standing eight count, and then sent Pennybaker reeling into the corner, after which the referee stopped the fight, a move which upset Pennybaker's corner.

By going nearly the full scheduled distance, the bout was a more complete test than Ali's debut. Just over a month ago, on 8 October in Verona, New York, she needed just 31 seconds to knock out April Fowler.

Ali's father, who watched her first fight from the ringside, did not attend the second, but Veronica Anderson, Laila's mother and Ali's third wife, watched the fight from ringside.

The bout was the fifth of a seven-fight card at the resort.