If you said ‘Kash Ali’ to people, I imagine they’d possibly think you were advertising a payday loans service, or looking for a notorious side street. Far from it though, because Kash ‘Gnasher’ Ali is a force to be reckoned with. For many the introduction to this enigmatic figure will have been on 20th March 2019 when he took on David Price in a heavyweight boxing contest held in the Echo Arena, Liverpool. Price’s assumed ascent to boxing greatness had been derailed in recent years and so who was this latest opponent I wondered. Who was Kash Ali?
This fight was certainly a massive step up for Ali and as such he was a relative unknown. Had anyone heard of him I wondered? Well certainly those who tuned into the fight press conference, where a usually calm David Price was uncharacteristically rattled and profane. He clearly thought Kash Ali was all mouth and no trousers. Ali’s relative anonymity in boxing terms quickly became irrelevant though, as following on from his lively ring entrance the fight began.
It soon became clear that Kash’s 15-0 undefeated record didn’t directly correlate in any way to how long he’d been studying the sweet science. His style was a bit wayward and lunging, less ancient ‘Drunken Master’ and more ‘a couple more Jagerbombs, please mate’. Price was gradually starting to pick him off, bloodying the fighter’s nose in round three, and getting some more verbal back from Ali for his troubles. Kash Ali seemed to be running out of both ideas and steam against his seasoned opponent but then in round 5, he suddenly upped his game. Was it a second wind? Perhaps divine intervention? Ali was suddenly connecting with a couple of good punches here and there and Price looked rattled. Ali was retiring though. Could he muster up another salvo? Did he have any further tricks up his sleeve?
The answer to that sound became abundantly clear towards the end of the round, when after a combination of exhaustion and a pinpoint punch from Price, Kash Ali tumbled to the floor and in an interesting take on multi tasking also, right up there in ‘I didn’t see that one coming’ territory, decided to attempt to bite a chunk out of David Price’s side. The reaction of Price and his team was instant (and it later emerged that Ali also had a neck nibble in round two!). The referrer swiftly called off the bout and the mark on the Liverpool fighter’s body was clear to see – and this was ‘with’ Ali wearing a gumshield! His exit was swift, and he was jeered by the crowd as he left the arena.
Following the fight, there was understandable outrage at what had happened and talk of taking his entire purse for the fight. A body blow (but at least not a bite) for a fighter who had just had his chance at hitting the big time. Ali blamed his street mentality and apologised for the whole sorry episode. For the rights and wrongs of it all though, we won’t be forgetting Kash Ali in a hurry. When his suspension is lifted on 26/09/2019, I for one will be tuning into his next fight to see what happens. Because it really is anyone’s guess!