Laila Ali Opens Up About Motherhood, New Show and Famous Dad

By Suzan Clarke

Sep 29, 2011 10:03pm
gty laila ali jef 110929 wblog Laila Ali Opens Up About Motherhood, New Show and Famous Dad

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Laila Ali jumped into the women’s boxing ring in 1999. After a string of high-profile wins, the 29-year-old retired from boxing in 2007.

Now Ali — the daughter of  boxing legend Muhammad Ali – is taking on another challenge.  She will be the host of “Everyday Health,” a new show that will air Saturdays on ABC stations across the nation.

The program will feature inspirational stories about people who have faced health challenges, and will be co-hosted by  Ethan Zohn, a former professional soccer player and humanitarian and Jenna Morasca, winner of  ”Survivor: The Amazon.”

“Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts caught up with Ali to talk to her about her life and career.

“You know, I’m so excited to be hosting this new show.  And ‘Everyday Health’ is wonderful because, you know, we focus on individuals who are ordinary, but they’re doing extraordinary things now,” she said. “Most of the people on the show have been through some … health crisis or they’re close to someone who has. And they’re paying it forward by helping to inspire and educate others on our show.”

Ali also opened up about becoming a mother again. She and her husband, Curtis Conway, have two children, 3-year-old Curtis Jr., and 6-month-old Sydney.

“It’s a lot of work, you know.  And lately I’ve been doing a lot of complaining and I have to remind myself like, ‘Come on, champ.  You’re the champ now,’” she said, laughing. “No, but basically, you know, I just have to put my priorities in order.  And you know, family comes first ….”

Ali, a former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, is also working with the American Kidney Fund to raise awareness about kidney disease.

As many as 31 million Americans are affected by kidney disease, and 9 out of 10 of them don’t know it, she said.

“You know, there’s so many things we can’t prevent,” she added. “When there’s something that we can, you want to educate yourself about it, find out if you’re at risk and then spread the word about it.”

Get more information about kidney disease and prevention at pairup.org.

Roberts also asked Ali about her famous father.

“My dad is doing wonderful.  He is doing great.  And he’s so, so proud of me.  He’s happy that I’m doing the show. You know, my dad’s a philanthropist …  you know, my dad has just taught me to overcome, you know, whatever it is that I’m facing, to be strong, to overcome it and to give back.”

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