Born on December 30, 1977 in Miami Beach, Laila Ali is the daughter of renowned boxer Muhammad Ali and his third wife, Veronica Porsche Ali. She was educated at University of Southern California Business School and Santa Monica College, where she earned a degree in business management. However, it was her inherited love for boxing which led her to pursue a sports career.
In June 2001, Ali began her career as a professional boxer when she fought Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of prominent boxer, Joe Frazier. In eight rounds, Ali emerged victorious and moved on to win the International Boxing Association title against Suzette Taylor on August 2002 in Las Vegas. A few months later, she retained the title and added two more belts to her name, this time the Women's International Boxing Association title and the International Women's Boxing Federation title. Come 2004, she beat Gwendolyn O'Neil and took the title of IWBF Light Heavyweight champion. A year later, she fought Erin Toughill into submission in three rounds and won the World Boxing Council title, subsequently defending her WIBA title. This fight was intense, as Ali and Toughill did not like each other, and Ali vowed that Toughill will lose the fight, which is considered one of the most violent female to female fights in history.
Aside from boxing tournaments, Ali has also appeared in reality series such as . Having no previous dancing experience, she was paired with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The two were praised by the judges, and eventually landed third place in the competition. Ali has also graced various magazines such as TV Guide, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, People, Ebony, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Essence, JET, ESPN the Magazine, and Time.
In 2008, she became the host of the revival of American Gladiators with wrestling superstar. In 2012, she joined the cast of the NBC series Stars Earn Stars.