Klitschko-Williams and The Beard Issue

07.12.04 - By Umar ben-Ivan Lee: According to reports from other boxing websites the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Williams fight may be in trouble because of the beard that Williams has let grow. Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Mark Ratner has stated “If the beard is considered abrasive, then the fighter will be asked to cut it back.”

Williams has countered that he will not trim the beard, because he is a religious Muslim and wears the beard as a religious duty and the Klitschko camp has said they have no problem with the beard.

For those unfamiliar with the issue; many religious Muslims grow a beard, and trim the mustache above the lip, because they seek to follow the Sunnah (traditions) of Prophet Muhammad who instructed his companions to grow beards and “take from the mustache”. Islam is not the only religion with regulations regarding facial hair, many religious Jews do not shave due to rabbinical teachings and in the Sikh religion men are prohibited from shaving.

Williams, a native of the predominantly black Brixton neighborhood in London and a convert to Islam, has chosen to grow a beard as he has increased his level of adherence to the Sunnah.

Umar ben-Ivan Lee may be contacted at

Article posted on 06.12.2004

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