August 31, 2006 – Los Angeles -With speculation surrounding the much anticipated Laila Ali/Ann Wolfe fight that is long overdue; Laila Ali wants to set the record straight. She wants her fans to know she has been trying to get Wolfe in the ring for over three years now. Wolfe’s management can never reach an agreement within their own team.
According to Damon Bingham, Ali’s Agent, a meeting had been set for August 12 in Las Vegas, to meet with Wolfe’s promoter, Brian Young of Prize Fight Promotions, to discuss details of a possible Ali/Wolfe matchup. Once they (Wolfe, and her management) became aware of the meeting, Wolfe’s managers Brian Pardo and Dana Venard contacted Bingham to inform him that Ann will, under no circumstances, fight Laila Ali while she is under contract with Prize Fights. They also added that Ann wants to delay the fight until her contract with her promoter is up on January 17 of 2007..
Brian Young, however, informed Ali’s team that he has Wolfe under contract for four more fights and will seek legal action if Wolfe continues to avoid fighting Ali. Mind you please note that she fought for Prize Fight about three weeks ago on ESPN, but now all of a sudden she won’t fight Laila under their promotion.
As Ann Wolfe’s Management has continued to make up excuses on her behalf for more than three years, they simultaneously put out press releases and spread rumors that Ali is dodging Wolfe. Laila Ali knows that, to boxing fans, she can only be as good as the people she defeats.
Laila had the following to say about the situation: “I care about what my fans think and I know that they want to see this match-up. That is why I have been dealing with this Ann Wolfe “drama” for so long. Contrary to what some may believe, a fight with Ann has never been about money. I make money no matter whom I fight. It is about being a true champion and beating the “best” fighters available. The problem is, the so called best fighters think they are going to get unrealistic amounts of money to fight me so they play themselves right out of the deal. The truth is Ann Wolfe does not really want to fight me, she just feels she has to in order to “feed” her family. Recently, she said herself on ESPN Friday Night Fights on a Prize Fight card that she is the one who was not happy with the money her promoter offered her to fight me. It’s funny, I can remember when she was on TV saying she would fight me for “a hamburger”. Now she says she wants at least a 60/40 split between the two of us. I guess she is trying to get her last payday because she
knows her name will have no value in boxing once I am done with her. Hopefully, money will motivate her enough to get in there and back up all this talk she has been doing because the idea of proving she is the best at 168 sure ain’t gonna be the reason.
“Ann if you really think you can beat me, you should be willing to put everything on the line. I have nothing to do with what you get paid, that is between you and whoever promotes the fight. Well, I’m not going to keep my other challengers waiting for Ann to get some heart because by the looks of it, that may never happen. She may decide to retire with the delusion that I ducked her. Hopefully Robinson, Egbunine, Raganosa or any other fighter between 165-175 with experience and a winning record will step up to the plate with some good sense. In other words, the show will go on as usual!