Over the past few days we've been reading a lot about the passing of Yemeni star Ali Raymi. Sadly the stories we've been reading appear to be true with multiple source now stating Raymi passed away on May 23rd.
One of those sources is the Yemen Boxing Federation (http://yemenboxingfederation.com/ali-raymi.html) who appear to be the most reliable of all the sources when it comes to Ali Raymi and were often the people who uploaded Raymi's fights.
The enigmatic Raymi came to our attention back in 2013, when he fought 16 times. Those 16 bouts all ended in opening round stoppages as he swiftly took his record to 19-0 (19), all in the first round. Those quick wins continued in to 2014 as he soon went on to set a new world record for most opening round KO's to begin a fighters career, with a figure of 21.
The 21st opening round stoppage of Raymi's career, a victory over Prince Maz, was deemed controversial and a trio of rematches all followed with Raymi taking wins in all 3 bouts (TKO7, TKO9 and TKO2) as Raymi moved to 24-0 (24).
The fight fought twice earlier this year before his passing, stopping compatriot Omar Moxamad twice, both of those bouts ending inside a round, and was supposed to be set to fight Hani Ansi in July, in a bout that had been rescheduled numerous times. Sadly that bout with Ansi was not to be.
Although the specific details of Raymi's death, as with much of his life, are shrouded in mystery it appears he was an innocent victim of an air strike. From reports on news sites there have been numerous innocent deaths from the airstrikes that have been launched in the area amid a civil war in the country.
We would like to send our wishes to Raymi's friends and loved ones, as well as all the others effected in Yemen in what appears to be a very sad time in the countries history.
Whilst Mr Raymi's death is a hit to boxing there is something so much more serious happening in the country at the moment and hopefully the blood shed will end soon, before more innocent victims are killed and the country if further torn apart.
RIP Ali Raymi.
Boxing is full of surprises. We see upsets, we see shocks, and fans in Sanaa finally saw Ali Raymi (22-0, 22) fighting for more than a single round!
On Friday Raymi, who began his career with 21 straight opening round KO's, was taken beyond the opening round. In fact he was taken to round 7 before finally stopping Prince Maz (8-2, 6) in a rematch of their bout from just a few weeks ago.
In their first bout Raymi had stopped Maz with just seconds of the opening round left. The stoppage was, from what we saw, a controversial one with Raymi informing us over twitter that it was stopped when Maz turned his back, something that wasn't entirely clear on the video.
This time Maz appeared hung in for 7 rounds before finally being stopped by Raymi. Unfortunately however only the 7th round was actually uploaded to youtube, leaving some real question marks about the previous 6 rounds.
We apologise whole heartedly for the quality of this footage, unfortunately it's all that was uploaded.
A second thing to note about this bout isn't just that this was first time Raymi had been more than 1 round but it was also the first time he had beaten a fighter with a loss on his record, albeit a loss to Raymi.
Earlier today in Yemen world record holder Ali Raymi took on fellow unbeaten fighter Prince Maz and it seems that the world ranked Raymi had the toughest bout of his career.
Maz, who entered the contest 8-0 (6) appears to have come to the ring with the intention of beating Raymi, rather than being victim #21 to the king of the opening round stoppages. As a result we got a real fight as both men tried to extend their winning runs.
Unfortunately what the footage fails to make clear is the actual result with the recording ending whilst Maz was stumbling around. We can assume the referee called a halt to the bout there and then but it's certainly not clear, at least not for now.
If the fight did end at the end of this footage then this would have extend Raymi's opening round KO streak to 21 straight opening round victories, all against unbeaten opponents. If the wasn't waved off however then the chances are Raymi was taken beyond the opening round for the first time in his career and his record run would come to an end.
At the moment we're awaiting clarification on the result but we have been informed that Maz quite with 5 seconds of the opening round left, something that really isn't clear in the video as you'll see when you watch the footage from the bout.
Note-The original upload of this fight WAS taken down by the user, we have re-uploaded it in it's entirety.
(Video originally uploaded by Yemen Boxing, we wonder why they took it down...)
According to boxing record site Boxrec.com it appears that Yemeni destroyer Ali Raymi (20-0, 20), the man with 20 successive opening round KO's is set to return to the ring for his first fight since November.
From what boxrec have on their schedule Raymi will be fighting on July 17th in a bout against the unbeaten Prince Maz (8-0, 6). Whilst Raymi will be hunting an historic 21st opening round stoppage, beating his own record, Maz will be looking to secure a career defining victory against the most famous active boxer from his homeland.
Raymi, who currently holds a WBO world ranking, will know that there is a big target on his back that Maz will be looking to hit, though with his amazing self confidence it's likely Raymi will have no worries going in to the bout.
Sadly we've seen issues with Raymi and boxrec in the past so we have our fingers crossed that this bout will go ahead unlike several other bouts which fell apart just days before the men were set to get in the ring.
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