Keighley boxer Ali aims to shake up Shakur

Muhammad Ali is back in China for the Summer Youth Olympics

Muhammad Ali wants to get the better of American flyweight Shakur Stevenson

First published in Sport by

KEIGHLEY'S Muhammad Ali headed to China again yesterday on a revenge mission.

The 18-year-old, who has just returned from the Far East after a training camp, is returning there for the Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, which run from August 16-28.

Ali had to settle for a silver medal in the Youth World Championships in Bulgaria in April and could well face the teenager who beat him in the flyweight (under-52kg) final – American Shakur Stevenson – again in China.

"After winning silver at the World Youth Boxing Championships in April, I’m feeling confident about my chances in Nanjing and see it as a opportunity to carry on that good form and enjoy more success,” said Ali.

"We won't know the (random) draw until we get out there but if I face him (Shakur) again, I would definitely fight it differently. I rushed in in Sofia, and I won't do that again.

"It was a messy fight as he was doing a lot of holding so I would try and be more patient and make it a cleaner fight.

"I need to box a bit clever but I am looking forward to it."

Boxing is one of 31 sports in the Summer Youth Olympics and will be held at Nanjing International Expo Center from Saturday, August 23 to Wednesday, August 27.

Great Britain are one of 204 nations taking part and have sent a squad of 33. The other boxers are Pete McGrail (-56kg), a bronze medallist from Sofia, and Viddal Riley (-81kg).

Ali added: "The camp in China was three weeks ago in Guiyang, and there were also teams out there from China and the Ukraine.

"My sparring has been a bit limited recently as I have had a cut over my left eye but I will be fine for China."

Ali qualified for the Youth Olympics by reaching the final in Sofia, which Stevenson claimed was "the ugliest win ever", even being docked a point for holding.

After reckoning he deserved to win the final following five straight victories in the Bulgarian capital, Ali said: "It was a great experience – the best one of my boxing career so far.

"All the training I've put in over the last six or seven years is paying off."

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