Why did you move so close to your dad, in such a small town?

I lived here a year before I even thought of the book, and then I just decided to move here. My dad always wished that I'd come live with him. So I moved in with him and actually lived there for a year, and then I decided to buy a house, just to have my own space. There's nothing for me in Los Angeles, where I grew up. I'm closest to my dad, and also I'd like to help out with him.just to be close and make him happy. One day he won't be here, so I think right now I don't mind sacrificing by being here. And it is a sacrifice because it's a boring town. There is nothing here, just my dad.

But you do have a boyfriend?

Yes, I met him here, actually. That's a little blessing from God.

Do you get your poet's soul from your dad? Oh, definitely. I wake up in the middle of the night and I have to write. A lot of my ideas come from things I've learned from my father, from watching him.

What was your childhood like, with Muhammad Ali as your father?

My dad was gone a lot. So when he was home, my dad gave us 100 percent of his attention. There was never a time when we were shunned, quieted, or asked to leave the office. We went everywhere with him. I'm grateful for the time we had. He was a great father because we felt love and that's the most important thing. I've had no problems with boyfriends or whatever else comes along with absent fathers. I could talk to him about anything. I got great advice about men.

You're the closest of your siblings to him, right?

I'm very close to my dad, yeah. Even when I was a little girl-and not to take anything away from my sisters-but I'm just very close to my dad.

Has boxing brought your sister, Laila, closer to your dad?

In a sense it has. Laila has never been close to my dad, in the sense that they weren't friends--but they weren't enemies and they weren't fighting all the time. They just weren't particularly close. She was close with my mother. My dad and I are a lot alike in a lot of ways.

How are you like him?

We have the same heart. The same things that make my father sensitive that he cares about, I care about. Also mannerisms and our reaction to people. My mother is like my father, too, because they're both very spiritual. My dad was very religious, but my mom never was. But she's extremely spiritual, and so we got that from both sides.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus