Though he sports an unblemished professional record of 20-0 with 12 knockouts, Brooklyn welterweight Sadam Ali will enter the ring Saturday night in a ring in a role that he has not had to play in the past- the underdog. That Ali is the underdog reflects both the caliber of opponents Ali has faced up to this point in his career, and the step up that Luis Carlos Abregu represents.
Since losing to Tim Bradley in 2010, Abgregu (36-1, 29 knockouts) has reeled off seven wins, six of them by knockout, and taken the 0s of two undefeated fighters. Fighting at Broadwalk Hall on the undercard of Kovalev-Hopkins, Abregu will target Ali's 0 on Saturday night.
Ali told ESPN's Dan Rafael that he is aware of the threat Abregu poses.
"Luis Carlos Abregu is not someone you should overlook or underestimate," Ali said. "He has power in both hands. He gives you a lot to worry about in the ring because of his tremendous power."
"I worked on defense a little more than usual in training camp. I think anyone who fights Abregu should. I've been training hard and I'm mentally and physically prepared. No weight lifting, but a lot of calisthenics."
"This fight is definitely a bigger step up than people thought I was going to take but after I win this I will prove a lot of people wrong. Everybody needs to take this kind of step if they want to be special and I want to be special. I know I am special. Training camp was great and I've been waiting for this opportunity for a long time."